Dumping bust leads to weapons charge
By LPR Staff
A multi-jurisdictional task force continued their work last week, cracking down on the prevalent practice of illegal discharge of sewage in rural Caldwell County.
Five more search warrants were executed on Friday morning, allowing investigators to access and examine properties where owners and residents are accused o
f dumping raw sewage directly on the ground, rather than installing septic tanks. In addition, at least one of the properties had evidence of improperly stored petroleum products, also leaking directly on the ground, and another was home to what likely amounts to tons of construction and demolition trash.
Two arrests were made in connection with the inspections.
One man, who was thought to be living in a travel trailer in the 6500 block of FM 1854, was arrested when officers found a fully automatic weapon with two multi-round magazines, a silencer and a bullet-proof vest in the residence. He was charged with two counts of Possession of Prohibited Weapons and booked into the Caldwell County Jail. His bond was set at $100,000, which was later posted and he was released from custody.
The owner of that property was also arrested, having returned to the property shortly after the search warrant was served. It was unclear, at press time, what the individual was charged with or what bond amount was set.
Officers at the scene said the presence of the weapon and the body armor hinted at additional illegal activity being linked with the suspects or the property, but did not have sufficient evidence to indicate what those activities might be, or whether other charges might be brought.
The ongoing investigation is a cooperative effort that includes law enforcement officers from the City of Lockhart and the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, and investigators from the Caldwell County District Attorney’s Office and the Central Texas Regional Environmental Task Force.
Similar “raids” in February led to the recent indictment of three Caldwell County men on felony charges relating to the unauthorized discharge of wastes or pollutants that threaten to cause water pollution.
Caldwell County Judge Tom Bonn has committed to continuing to investigate similar complaints in the future.