EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - Authorities raided Thursday morning a building connected to one of the owners of a controversial recycling center in East Cleveland.
According to a spokesperson from the Ohio Attorney General's Office, members of the Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant on 14925 Elderwood Avenue, East Cleveland.
The property belongs to George Michael Riley.
Riley is named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the State of Ohio against Arco Recycling, 1705 Noble Road, according to court documents.
The document states Riley:
"Endangered the environment and the community of East Cleveland by allowing over 200,000 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris (C&DD) to be unlawfully disposed on real property located at 1705 Noble Road in East Cleveland, Ohio (the Arco Site). Defendants actions have resulted in a pile of C&DD rising over the homes that are merely yards away from the piles. Without the protections afforded by obtaining a license to dispose of C&DD, there is no way to ensure that this pile of debris has not caused, and is not currently causing, environmental harm."
Court documents state that between June 24, 2014, and January 2017 "little, if any of the construction and demolition debris that was brought onto the Arco site was ever removed to be returned to commerce or to be properly disposed of."
Officials said the pile of debris towers over the neighborhood — standing about 5-stories high and seven acres long.