LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Deputies discovered a nasty mess during a meth bust and it could cost tax payers.
During the bust in Denham Springs on Thursday, detectives found an overwhelming amount of trash and litter. The parish quickly vowed to clean it up.
The litter along Foxboro Loop is obvious. Plastic lids, old paint cans, tires, and layers of trash are scattered all over the place. The trash is near a ditch that runs into the Amite River.
Resident Paul Hooley said the problem has been staring him in the face for 12 years.
"Ten years ago we spent a month cleaning the thing up, three big trucks of it then," Hooley said.
Residents said it is actually an improvement. Pictures taken by Livingston Parish leaders show mounds of trash litter crews picked up on Thursday.
"I had to laugh really because I knew there were a lot of people back here about to get in trouble for it because I told several people don't throw your trash back here and they act like they don't care," Hooley said.
Livingston Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Mark Harrell said litter crews removed two truckloads. There was so much trash crews had to use heavy equipment to haul it away.
"When I got the call they expressed it was bad. I didn't think it would be that bad," Harrell said.
Harrell said detectives serving an arrest warrant at a trailer found several meth labs stashed in the trash around the property. Brittany Fitzgerald was arrested for the meth on the property but also faces fines for litter around her trailer home.
"We have a lot of that in the parish so I'm kind of used to seeing it," Harrell said.
But that is about to change. Harrell said the parish is going to clean it up on the tax payer's dime. But, he said, the law will go after anyone found littering anywhere in Livingston Parish.
"We are going to hit them one at a time," Harrell said.
Hooley couldn't be happier. This time, he said, he'll leave the hefty lifting to them.
"That's a good deal, a real good deal," Hooley said.
The parish plans to do a second pass on Foxboro Loop on Monday. Harrell said he will also call the Louisiana National Guard to test the soil for contamination.