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Man Accused Of Dumping Near Lake Sulphur Springs

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A 26-year-old man is in custody at Morris County jail Wednesday night on felony Hopkins County warrants for allegedly dumping debris and trash near Lake Sulphur Springs earlier this week. The arrest is the third time he has been arrested on Hopkins County felony charges.

Justen Blake Saffel (HCSO jail photo)

Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office was notified earlier in the week that debris and trash had been dumped near Sulphur Springs Lake, at the dead end of County Road 4703. The debris, hauled away Tuesday in a dump truck, weighed more than 4,000 pounds. A joint investigation of the dumping was under way Tuesday by HCSO and Hopkins County Fire Department was launched.

“After the initial cleanup and investigation an arrest has been made in Morris County. Assistant Fire Marshal Mike Matthews, tracked down the suspect and he is now in custody,” HCSO Chief Deputy Tanner Crump noted in a news release Wednesday night.

According to law enforcement reports, Justen Blake Saffel was taken into custody late Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 6, 2021, in Omaha. The 26-year-old Hopkins County man was arrested and taken to Morris County jail, where he was held on the Hopkins County warrants for illegal dumping and intentionally or knowingly unauthorized discharge of the debris adjacent to the water way, in connection with the dumping near Lake Sulphur Springs, according to sheriffs reports.

Wednesday is the second time Saffel has been arrested by County fire marshals and third time he has been jailed on felony Hopkins County charges.

In September of 2016, County fire marshals arrested Saffel on an arson charge. Saffel was accused of setting a house that had been vacant for several years in Birthright on fire. A 6-month member of North Hopkins Volunteer Fire Department, Saffel’s membership in the department was terminated following the incident, NHVFD wrote in a statement following Saffel’s arrest in 2016.

Saffel was arrested Sept. 11, 2016, by Hopkins County Fire Marshals; indicted Oct. 17, 2016, and was released Nov. 29, 2016, on 10 years probation on the arson charge, according to court and jail records.

The 26-year-old was also jailed Sept. 7, 2015, for allegedly pointing a gun at his mother and cousin during a disturbance at a Locust Street residence. Saffel remained in jail until Dec. 14, 2015 in Hopkins County jail on the aggravated assault of a date, family or household member with a weapon, according to jail reports.

Truck filled with debris cleaned up at the dead end of County Road 4703 near Lake Sulphur Springs near Lake Sulphur Springs, where it was reportedly dumped earlier this week (HCSO photo)

The Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office is located at 298 Rosemont St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75482. Non-emergency calls can be made to (903) 438-4040.

Author: Faith Huffman

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