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Man charged with felony for littering

BUFORD, Ga -- A Buford man is charged with a felony for littering. It's a rare crime that Gwinnett County Police said they have never used until this arrest.

The crime of Egregious Littering was filed against Kenneth Finlon, 54, of Buford on Thursday after police received complaints from a neighbor.

Police said Finlon was creating a landfill that encroached on about 15 acres of his neighbor's property. "The nature of the waste that we've seen so far has been construction debris, concrete and pieces of either earth moving equipment or construction equipment," said Cpl. Jake Smith.

A clutter of construction debris is in Finlon's back yard but police said it's what is underneath the ground that he buried that is their concern.


Cpl. Smith said police were tipped off by a neighbor of Finlon's who noticed a change in elevation to his property. The neighbor provided pictures to police after he dug random pits and found garbage as far as twenty-feet down and further below the surface.

"We believe so far in our investigation that he's been approaching legitimate builders and legitimate contractors and essentially sub-contracting with them to transport and dispose of their debris," Smith said.

Police believe Finlon has been burying debris behind his house for years and they're worried about what they haven't uncovered yet. "There is some concern on our part that some of this material that has been buried is going to seep into the ground water," Smith said. There are creeks nearby that run into bigger streams.

But finding out what is below the surface and what the potential damage is, is far beyond a police department's expertise. Cpl. Smith said it may take an investigation by state or federal environmental agencies.

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