LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — City officials Thursday unveiled a new effort to curb illegal dumping along the Los Angeles River.

KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore reports City Attorney Mike Feuer announced the establishment of a local “strike force” to identify and clean up the city’s most chronic illegal dumping sites, where residents will often leave everything from furniture, refrigerators and piles of lumber to toxic liquids.

“Yes, we see it, but we can’t catch them. We barely have enough time to get their license plate number, so…what can we do?” L.A. resident Robert Pickett told CBS2/KCAL9’s Dave Lopez.

Feuer said now residents will have plenty of options to go after these offenders: “Investigation, collaboration, prosecution, as well as cleaning up, are all parts of this.”

In addition to outlining enforcement strategies against illegal dumpers and plans to keep up area maintenance, Feuer also detailed two criminal cases he will file against illegal dumpers as a result of the investigative efforts of the City Attorney’s Environmental Justice Unit, according to officials.

Three counts were filed against 56-year-old Anthony Menes, who Port Police allege dumped old television frames and parts next to a business on Halloween.

Prosecutors with the City Attorney’s Office also charged Jaime Sosa Guerra, 39, Manuel Valesquez, 46 and George Filander, 62, for allegedly dumping wood pallets, plastic engine parts, lumber and plastic chairs from a truck on Oct. 30.

Feuer told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the initiative targets nine sites across the city and will involve local task force members as well as Los Angeles County and state officials.

Lopez found heaps of trash on Grand Avenue between 45th and 46th streets.

“This is one of those issues that affect quality of life in a very gritty way, and we’re intent on dealing with it in I think a very innovative and collaborative effort,” said Feuer.

The exact locations of trouble spots in the San Fernando Valley, South Los Angeles and the Eastside were not disclosed, but officials said each has a radius of about 4 miles.

Penalties for illegal dumping can range from a $1,000 fine or six months in jail for each count of illegal dumping, according to Feuer.

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