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      Illegal dumpers will be hit with $500 to $1k fine

      Cameron County officials first went out to Pletcher Road, located just outside Harlingen, about a year ago to clean up a massive illegal dump site.

      However, residents there said violators have not headed to the posted warning signs and the problem is back.

      Marisela Castillo said the site is attracting rats and rodents, and they TMre invading her home. She and her neighbors have had enough.

      "The bad odors come this way and everything that they throw there, ends up over here on my yard, like paper and other things carried by the wind. Castillo said.

      Illegal dumping is a problem plaguing Cameron County, and Emergency Manager Humberto Barrera said residents have to get involved if they want the problem to go away, especially when violators have no regard for the law.

      "There's many times when people just dump sofas and tires, and there's no way of tracking stuff like that, Barrera said, so that illegal dumping case opens and closes there - unless you have somebody come out and say, ~hey I saw who did it."

      Barrera said not only are these dump sites creating a nuisance for the surrounding neighborhoods, but they are also putting children here in danger.

      "Possums and rodents are attracted to these dumpsites, Barrera said. Those possums and rodents carry all sorts of diseases. The other day we drove through here and there were kids playing football here. That football could easily come over here, get mixed-in with feces from the rats and they can take that home."

      Castillo is asking illegal dumpers to take their trash to the landfill not her home.

      Investigators found a picture at the site, which they will use as evidence to track down possible violators. Anyone arrested for illegal dumping could face a fine from $500 to $1,000 and jail time, Barrera said.