An alert citizen saw a man dumping a large pile of trash along the side of the road Tuesday evening, Feb. 8 and reported it to Ceres Police.
He was quickly located and made to pick up every last bit of it as the officer watched.
The tip led to a quick follow-up at 10:06 p.m. when Officer Aaron Pinon rolled to the area of Whitmore Avenue and Ustick Road and saw Jason Allen Celes, 37, of Modesto behind a parked red Chevrolet pickup dumping trash along the shoulder of the roadway. The back of the truck was filled with garbage and there was approximately 300 pounds of trash already dumped on the ground behind the truck. After an investigation, Celes was determined to be responsible for dumping the trash.
Celes was not arrested but charges for littering and illegal trash dumping are being sought through the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s office. It will be up to the District Attorney if Celes will be prosecuted.
Celes has had previous brushes with the law. In March 2020 a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment against Celes, charging him with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
In November 2015 Celes was arrested for evading Modesto police when he led police on an eight-mile chase as they sought to arrest his passenger, Heather Renee Salcedo, for a Dublin bank robbery committed the day before.
Multiple departments in the city are tackling the problem of illegal dumping. Citizens can help by reporting illegal trash dumping in progress, by calling Police Dispatch at (209) 538-5712. Citizens may also report an illegal trash dump that has already occurred by phoning Code Enforcement at (209) 538-5799.