SBI charges two with felony littering for dumping trees on someone else's land

From staff reportsJuly 17, 2014 

— Two men are facing felony littering charges in Wake County because, the State Bureau of Investigation alleged, they avoided landfill charges two years ago by going to someone else’s land to dump trees they had cut.

Agents from the SBI’s Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit arrested Michael Meisling, 44, at his home at 3912 Granny Farm Road, a Clayton address that is just inside Wake County, on Wednesday

William Harold Smallwood, 48, of 207 Sleepy Creek Drive in Clayton surrendered at the Wake County Detention Center on Hammond Road.

Jennifer Canada, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice, which includes the SBI, said agents accused the pair of cutting down 15- to 20-foot trees and dumping them on land they did not own so they would not have to pay to get rid them at a landfill.

It happened, agents said, in July and August 2012.

According to arrest warrants sworn out by Agent D.S. Faircloth, the two “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did intentionally and recklessly dispose of litter” on someone else’s land “for commercial purposes.”

The commercial aspect makes littering a felony under state law.

The charges do not tell who owned the land where the agents believe the trees went or why it took two years to assemble the case.

Pippin and Smallwood were freed on bail after being booked.

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