Hillsborough County authorities are finally starting to clean up a massive illegal dump site. Our I-Team was the first to expose this landfill more than a month ago.
There is trash as far as the eye can see--everything from clothes, to kids' toys, and a jetted tub! It's all part of a Hillsborough County illegal dump site that's now getting cleared out.
"I have never seen a dumping of this magnitude," said Detective David Stofflet with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
For months, neighbors complained about the stench and being overrun with nasty bugs.
"We'll be eating our dinner and gnats will just be flying into our food," neighbor Paula Dance told us in February.
In December, detectives watched the property and saw dump trucks bring 39 loads of garbage to the property off E. Broadway Ave. in the Mango area.
"It has a lot of concealment and people just didn't see what was going on until it got as bad as it is," said Ron Spiller, Hillsborough Co. code enforcement director.
The waste company allegedly had a sweetheart deal with the woman living on the property: $100 a load, which is a third the cost to dump it at the landfill.
After our February I-Team investigation, the waste company's owner Robert Rogan was arrested for illegal dumping.
"Clearly his motivation was monetary and he really didn't care about how his actions impacted anybody else," Spiller said.
The county estimates 35 tons of trash was illegally dumped in just six months on six acres of ground.
The county was hoping the property owner would clean the place up. But when he didn't, the code board voted to start fining him $1,000 a day, a bill already at $27,000 and will climb to nearly $50,000 before the clean up is complete.
It's costing the county $175,000 to get rid of the mess.
Once the trash is gone, the county plans to put a lien on the property and put it in foreclosure to recoup the costs of clean-up.
The property owner's whereabouts are unknown. The woman who had been staying on site, Kenya Akins, is facing a number of misdemeanor charges in the case.