Williamson is on videotape inferring the tires came from Wilke Tire Service.
Wilke denies the accusation and says “they are lying.”
“The tires didn’t come from here,” Wilke said. “They came from (another tire company) right by my house on Wood River. I dispose of tens of thousands of tires every year. It would be ludicrous for me to rent a trailer to dump 380 tires... it would be stupid for me to do anything like that. I dispose of tens of thousands of tires over a one-year period.”
The tire business owner says he has receipts to prove he properly disposed of 40 trailers filled with tires per year. Each trailer holds approximately 1,500 tires.
Wilke says he thinks the suspects go to the many little tire shops around town and take their tires for $1.50 each.
Wright said Williamson pointed the finger at Wilke during interviews as well as on the videotape.
A videotape at a convenience store near Robstown revealed that Williamson told the clerk “we’re illegally dumping tires.” When the clerk told him she was going to “call the law and have them arrest you,” Williams said, “They can’t catch us. The guy they are looking for is not us, it’s the guy that owns Wilke Tires. All them tires we put in our yard, those are his.”
The investigator said old tires regularly had been taken to the property. The two men living at the rural residence in Nueces County had a “rent-to-own” agreement with Wilke. Donald Wilke confirmed the rental agreement with the men during a telephone conversation Wednesday morning. He also said he would allow the men to remain there “if they continue to pay rent.”
Wilke confirmed he was issued a citation and told to clean up the tires but maintains he had nothing to do with the tires kept there by his renters.
Wright said he talked to the Nueces County constable for that precinct who told him complaints from neighbors spurred the action to get the tires removed.
According to reports, one suspect said they rented the trailer, loaded the tires off the property and went to Wilke’s business and loaded more tires onto the trailer.
At the scene of the dumping near Bonnie View, Wright said he lifted tire tread tracks that match the rented truck. Odometer readings from the vehicle were also taken as evidence.
“The tracks were definitely from the same U-Haul vehicle,” Wright said.
Refugio County wasn’t the only dumping ground for tires. Other tires were found in the Bluntzer and the Beeville area, which may be linked to the same crime. Wright said he has sent his findings to other law enforcement officials in other areas to aid in their investigations.
Pct. 2 County Commissioner Stanley Tuttle sent a crew to pick up more than 11,000 pounds of tires. The county hopes to be reimbursed for the expenses, Sheriff Robert Bolcik said.
In addition to charges filed in Refugio County, other charges could be filed if federal environmental authorities gets involved, according to the sheriff.
“Gary did some excellent investigative work on this case,” Bolcik said. “The work was tedious and extensive to get all the evidence in place to get a warrant for the arrest.”
The sheriff said the case will be taken to the grand jury when it meets in April.
More charges involving the dumping will be up to the district attorney, he said.