KINGMAN - After more than six months of investigation, Mohave County Environmental Rural Cleanup Enforcement has gotten their man, a Maricopa County contractor who illegally dumped more than a ton of trash in the desert.
Jeff Inglin of Inglin Properties, LLC accepted a plea agreement Tuesday and pleaded guilty to felony commercial criminal littering. He could face 90 days of jail time plus a fine to be determined at sentencing. He will be sentenced on Dec. 3.
"I was contacted by Lake Mead Recreation Area Park Ranger Erik Westpfahl on April 7," said ERACE Investigator George Young. "The rangers had come upon a large amount of household items off Temple Bar Road at U.S. 93, mile marker 19, which had been illegally dumped during the night."
Westpfahl brought Young evidence that linked the trash to a house in Kingman. Young followed the evidence and found that the house had been foreclosed on and that the mortgage company, Moore Equity Mortgage, Inc., had contracted with Spectrum Field Services, Inc., out of Salt Lake City, to clean up the property. Spectrum Field then subcontracted the job to Hass Field Services of Scottsdale.
"The owner of Haas told me he contracted Jeff Inglin of Inglin Properties LLC to do the work," Young said. "He had been using him for a lot of jobs. Following the Kingman house, Inglin was to do seven more cleanouts on foreclosed homes in Las Vegas."
The owner of Haas Field Services cleaned up the mess and provided Young with a fake landfill receipt that Inglin turned in to him. The receipt showed that the landfill charged Inglin $450.
"Our landfill only charges $32 per ton. There is a minimum charge of around $8 at the landfill, with the average pickup truck load only costing about $15 for disposal," Young said.
Young also spoke with some of the neighbors in the Kingman area who witnessed the cleanout and described the vehicle, trailer and the two men cleaning up the house.
"They said the trash was stacked so high that the two men used materials to build up the sides on the trailer to stack the stuff even higher," he said.
Young called Inglin, who admitted that he did the cleanout of the house in question.
"He told me he thought the load was too big, so he stopped at Wal-Mart to buy rope to tie it down. While he was in the parking lot, he said someone with a bigger trailer pulled up and asked him if he needed help getting the load to the landfill," Young said. "He claimed he paid this person $200 to take the load to the landfill. He said it was getting dark and he didn't want to spend the night in Kingman with the load of trash, admitting he knew the landfill was closed at that time. He didn't get a receipt from the other driver and he couldn't describe him. He was very vague."
Young said Inglin had to drive by Temple Bar Road to get to Las Vegas.
"That was the last chance he had to pull off and go down a dark road and dump all that stuff before he got to the checkpoint at the dam," Young said. "He couldn't have crossed the dam with that load."
The fact that this was done for commercial purposes makes it a felony, he said. The Registrar of Contractors told Young that Inglin had had his license suspended once before and a felony conviction would lead to it being revoked.
"We are currently working two other commercial cases," Young said. "We have identified suspects. One of them is in the court system right now. The other one, we are waiting for compliance from the perpetrator in lieu of prosecution.
"Unlike Inglin, these other two suspects are not licensed," he said. "With the poor economy, there are a lot of folks out there who put out flyers and to do odd jobs."
ERACE recommends that residents negotiate with anyone they hire to haul trash. They should only give a partial payment with the final payment conditional on bringing back a landfill receipt. Otherwise, if the trash is dumped in the desert, the homeowner can become responsible for cleaning up the mess.
The ERACE investigators depend on the public's assistance to find illegal dumpsites.
Information such as a description of the people dumping the trash, vehicles and trailers and a license plate number if possible, make it much easier to track down wildcat dumpers, Young said. He suggests that witnesses concentrate on recording what they see and not to try to confront any wildcat dumpers.
To report a wildcat dumping incident, call the Mohave County Sheriff's Office at (928) 753-0753. To report a dumpsite, call ERACE at (928) 715-0480.