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Matthew Ferguson faces two felony counts of destruction of property, as well as more than a dozen misdemeanor offenses.
Friday, May 10, 2013
The head of a Rocky Mount septic service company was indicted this week on 17 counts related to sewage that was illegally dumped in Franklin County.
Matthew Ferguson, 34, owns and operates A Plus Septic Service, which collects and hauls septic tank waste. He faces two felony counts of destruction of property, as well as more than a dozen misdemeanor offenses, including dumping trash on private property, unlawful disposal of septic waste and violating health board regulations.
Police have said that Ferguson, in mid-January, dumped about 2,500 gallons of sewage near New Hope United Methodist Church on Old Forge Road. The discharge site was about 55 feet from the church’s well and 200 feet from Coles Creek, and it contained human waste, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, condoms and other items culled from septic containers, according to Police Chief David Cundiff.
Ferguson also has been tied to another dump site near Foothills Drive in Calloway, Sgt. J.N. Harris said Friday. He said it wasn’t clear exactly how much waste material had been dumped off Foothills Drive, but he said it appeared to be a bigger spill than the Old Forge Road site.
“It measured an area 110 feet by 67 feet, and it was up to about six inches deep in some areas. This was down an embankment, so there was a flow,” Harris said, but he added it was not near running water. He said it appeared to have been there about four or five months, but parts of the spill had been dumped more recently.
Ferguson is the only person arrested in the case so far, but Harris said police are still investigating whether other individuals or businesses might have been involved.
Rocky Mount police Lt. Ken Criner said Friday that Ferguson was charged with destruction of property because the amount of waste that was dumped was so massive a backhoe had to be brought in to spread it out before it could be treated with lime.
A third dump site has also been located behind the former 84 Lumber store off Virginia 40, near Furnace Creek, but investigators have not yet tied anyone to that spill, Criner said.
In February, soon after the dumps were discovered, Rocky Mount Assistant Town Manager Matt Hankins said that the town’s drinking water supply had not been affected by the spills. He said drinking water is drawn from the Blackwater River and there was no evidence that the watershed had been tainted.
Other indictments in Franklin County this week included:
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