A man was arrested after deputies found him illegally dumping a felony volume of tree debris into a Port Charlotte vacant lot.

On Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at approximately 12:30pm, a deputy was patrolling the undeveloped areas near Friendly St. and Chamberlain Blvd. in Port Charlotte, investigating several large trailer loads of waste debris which had been dumped. During this patrol, the deputy observed a large white and blue trailer truck in the area. The truck was backed into a vacant lot on Woolard Ave. and had its tailgate open with a man standing at its control panel.

At this time, the deputy stopped to speak with the man, who was identified by his driver’s license as Dillon M. Merlak (11/13/1991). Merlak could not provide an explanation for why he was backed into the vacant lot with his tailgate open, and insisted the deputy speak to the company owner via telephone. The individual on the phone introduced himself as the owner of the company (ACI Land and Tree, Venice), Adam T. Pablo (10/19/1976). Pablo informed the deputy that the waste in the trailer was from jobs the employee completed for paying customers, but was also unable to provide an explanation for the trailer being backed into the vacant lot nowhere near a solid waste facility.

Dillon M. Merlak (11/13/1991)

“Clearing debris is a necessary element following a storm. When contractors come in and take the hard-earned money from the people of Charlotte County, they had better do the job right. That means dumping what they clear only where it is legal to do so. If they fail to do that, they will face the consequences.”