HARLINGEN - The owner of a 20-acre tire dump that burned for days earlier this month was arrested Aug. 12 in Brownwood, the Cameron County District Attorney's office confirmed Wednesday.
A Brown County jail log shows that Bobby Ray Waldrep was arrested on a local misdemeanor public nuisance charge, misdemeanor traffic violation and an illegal dumping charge from Cameron County.
He posted a $20,000 bond and was released, officials said.
Waldrep was arrested in Brown County, about 150 miles west of Waco, on charges unrelated to the tire fire, Alexis Cline, spokeswoman for the Cameron County District Attorney's Office, said.
DA's investigators would not comment on concerns that Waldrep would go into hiding, Cline said, nor would she comment on plans to return Waldrep to Cameron County to face charges here in connection with the tire dump.
Cameron County officials have called the tire blaze the largest tire fire in county history.
Officials have been trying to locate Waldrep since the tire fire broke out on Barlow Road in San Benito on Aug. 1.
The fire burned about 10,000 tires, several shacks, several cars and a bus. San Benito officials estimated the cost to put out the blaze at around $10,000.
Waldrep has had a lengthy history with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, dating back almost a decade and spanning from Orange County, Texas, to Cameron County - all related to dump sites.
Neighbors near the Barlow Road fire have said they have filed complaints against Waldrep's dump site for the past 15 years.
TCEQ officials first stated they didn't know about Waldrep's dump site, but later said they have known since 2002.
TCEQ state officials said there was a miscommunication in the department, and that resulted in the mix up.
From the Valley Morning Star, http://www.valleymorningstar.com/news/owner-94738-tire-arrested.html.