Lanett motel owner arrested for dumping 200 mattresses off County Road 92

Published 4:42 pm Thursday, May 11, 2023

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Lanett motel owner Dharmashkumar Patel was arrested on Tuesday for dumping around 200 used mattresses and box springs out on County Road 92.

According to LaFayette Police Sgt. Derrick Coley, the motel owner was arrested for five counts of criminal littering, one charge for each of the dump sites along the county road. 

Patel told police that he hired a crew to dispose of the bedbug-infested mattresses while he was renovating the Lanett Inn. He reached out to several local landfills to take the mattresses but couldn’t find a place that would accept them.

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Patel took ownership of the mattresses after they were found. He told police that he hired a crew to take the mattresses away. 

“At this moment, he is not cooperating with this on giving us their names,” Coley said.

The investigation is ongoing, and more arrests may be made as the police investigate the identities of the other individuals involved. 

Around 200 mattresses were cleaned out of creeks, culverts and private lanes along County Road 92. LaFayette Street and Sanitation Department spent 8 to 10 hours on May 2 pulling the used mattresses and box springs out of the creeks. The debris was transported to a landfill out of town to properly dispose of them earlier this week.

The mattresses and box springs were taken to a landfill and disposed of properly earlier this week. The estimated cost of the cleanup was exceeding $10,000. 

“There are probably going to be a hefty fine because of the amount of mattresses and box springs that were dumped,” Coley said.