LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has filed multiple criminal charges against the owner of Mighty Mike Plumbing in Burbank and two employees for allegedly illegally dumping materials in Sun Valley.
“Illegal dumping corrodes a community and must be stopped,” said Feuer. “This case is an example of our Illegal Dumping Task Force bringing our Neighborhood Prosecutors together with city agencies to effectively target locations that have become dumping grounds. And as always, we appreciate our collaborative partnership with Councilwoman Nury Martinez.”
“Our neighborhoods are not a place to dump trash. Sun Valley residents applaud City Attorney Feuer for filing charges against people who would make our neighborhoods a dumping ground,” said Councilwoman Nury Martinez. “I’m working to increase the number of reserve inspectors the Bureau of Street Services has available to cite this type of criminal activity, and will always be a partner with Mr. Feuer to keep our streets safe and clean.”
Mike Varela, 36, his company Mighty Mike Plumbing, Inc., and two employees, Antonio Vasquez, 27, and Jesus Maldonado, 29, were each charged with two counts of illegal dumping. If convicted, each could face up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. Arraignment is scheduled for June 30, 2016 in Department M of the San Fernando Courthouse.
Neighborhood Prosecutor Susan Chung is prosecuting the case, which is part of the work of the City Attorney’s Illegal Dumping Task Force.
On November 24, 2015, surveillance cameras located at 9128 Tujunga Avenue in Sun Valley captured defendants Vasquez and Maldonado allegedly using shovels to dump large amounts of dirt and asphalt out of a truck with a Mighty Mike Plumbing logo on the side. Both defendants were also allegedly wearing clothing with the company name on it. A subsequent investigation by LAPD allegedly was able to identify the defendants through video stills matching with prior booking photos.
The location has been a problem for illegal dumping for nearly 30 years according to community members and has been identified by the City Attorney as one of the top 10 chronic locations for illegal dumping in the city. As a result of rampant illegal dumping activity, local businesses have installed state of the art video surveillance to aid law enforcement.
The public is encouraged to help report incidents of illegal dumping by calling MyLA 311, the City’s toll-free information & non-emergency services line to make a report. Residents can also download the MyLA311 app on their smartphones and submit service requests for dumping that has already occurred. To report illegal dumping in progress between 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., the public can call the Bureau of Street Services Enforcement Division at (213) 847-6000, after hours call (877) ASK-LAPD.