Pictured: JWC Abatement officer Hector Zertuche and Pct. 6 Deputy Constable John Medina investigated a site off of County Road 382, which contained car parts, batteries and mattresses. Photo by Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr.
Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal
County officers put two and two together after a large boat was abandoned on Farm to Market Road 1352 Thursday morning. The boat had been previously seen by JWC Abatement officer Hector Zertuche, in connection with an illegal dumping case off of County Road 382.
Zertuche found car batteries, rubber portions of old car bumpers, front and back light assemblies, discarded gas tanks, mattresses and tires Wednesday morning at the CR 382 site. In addition to those materials, a large boat was also on the property.
Zertuche photographed the scene to begin an investigation of the area. Later that day, the county received numerous calls from area residents who said they saw a man dragging a boat down the road around County Road 382. A DPS Trooper made contact with Robert Delorme, 44, and told him to have the boat removed from the side of Farm to Market Road 1352 by Thursday morning. Zertuche, listening on the scanner at the time, recognized the description of the boat as the one he had photographed on CR 382 earlier in the day. At 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Zertuche drove along FM 1352 and noticed the boat was still there. He then drove to CR 382, where he met up with Delorme.
Delorme, 44, a local resident told Zertuche he was renting the property in question, but after a call was placed to the fire marshal, a letter was found from the actual owner of the property, stating that Delorme did not have permission to be there. Delorme could produce no paperwork to verify his rental status.
He received a ticket after a check showed his license had expired. Delorme may face as many as three additional citations for illegal dumping; one for the gas tanks and motor parts found on the rental property, and one for each of the two car batteries found on the site, which is a Class A misdemeanor. The boat was picked up and taken to the Auto Express wrecker yard, until rightful ownership can be established.