He must clean up his own mess and spend 10 hours cleaning up after others.
By PAUL WHEATLEY
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- After about two months of special patrols by Mahoning County deputy sheriffs looking for big-time litterbugs, the city successfully convicted a local man arrested by the litter control squad.
Micky D. Sargent, 19, of Austintown, pleaded no contest Friday before Judge Robert P. Milich in Youngstown Municipal Court to charges that he illegally dumped refuse from his landscaping business on Bridge Street near the old U.S. Steel property.
Sargent was found guilty and given 180 days in jail, which were suspended, five years' nonreporting probation, $310 in fines and court costs and 10 hours of community service on a litter cleanup crew.
He must also clean up the refuse he dumped and return to court with receipts proving he legally dumped the waste.
He already spent a night in jail and his vehicle was towed and impounded.
Calvin Jones, director of the city's litter control and recycling division, said the sentence was exactly what he hoped for. He said most litterbugs are habitual offenders and the city needs to nab and successfully convict 2 percent or 3 percent of them to make an impact.
How bad it is: Litter-control officials estimate there are more than 100 illegal dump sites across the city and it costs more than $100,000 annually to clean them up.
Jones secured a $47,000 Community Development Block Grant to pay the salaries of two deputies and for equipment such as nighttime video cameras. He hopes to secure a similar grant to keep the patrols up next year.
A routine patrol with deputies in April proved the city has a long road to recovery.
A vacant lot near Nelson Avenue and Melvina Street, on the city's East Side, was home to a 6-foot-tall mound of clothes, furniture, household supplies and hundreds of tires.
There was a "No Dumping" sign about 100 yards away.
Officials said such sites are health hazards that can provide habitat for mosquitoes and rodents.