EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah – The debris might be gone, but the legal trouble isn’t for one man accused of illegally dumping truckloads worth of junk on someone else’s property.
Investigators say he charged people to haul their unwanted items to a landfill, but he left it near a dirt road instead.
Junk dumping caught via Facebook
Eagle Mountain resident Torri Kenison saw pictures of the trash after someone else shared them on a Facebook page for people living in the community. After taking a closer look, she recognized a modified dog kennel she paid Justin Persinger to take to the dump just two days prior.
“I just commented, ‘Yeah, these are mine.’ As I started looking at the photos more, I noticed more and more stuff,” she said.
Kenison went out to the dump site and found her broken dressers, her broken set of Christmas lights, her old sink and the Amazon box that her new sink came in, which had her name on it. She contacted Persinger, demanding her money back, but she claims he responded by trying to convince her that the items belonged to someone else, and that her items received proper disposal.
“I was in disbelief, like, ‘Are you kidding me? Really? You didn’t even try to disguise it. You went two blocks from my house,’” Kenison said.
Confession and clean-up
Investigators received several calls after the social media pictures made the rounds, all from people claiming they paid Persinger to remove their junk. Utah County Sheriff’s Sergeant Spencer Cannon says Persinger initially claimed he took the items to the dump, but suggested that someone else removed those things from the landfill, then left them along the dirt road. Cannon says they never believed that; eventually, he said Persinger admitted to illegally dumping the junk.
“He ultimately confessed that he picked [the items] up and didn’t have money to go to the dump,” Cannon said.
Persinger has since removed the junk and cleaned up the area where he left it. However, Cannon says they still want Persinger charged with illegal dumping and theft by deception, since they don’t believe he ever intended to haul the junk away properly.
“He might have made a couple hundred dollars in hauling this junk away, but it’s entirely possible he may pay several times more than that in fines and fees if he’s found guilty,” Cannon said.