BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -
A Tehachapi man has been ordered to pay more than a million dollars to Kern County for illegally dumping trash.
The state attorney general says Paul Benz was dumping Los Angeles County trash in the Tehachapi landfill so he could avoid paying for it.
Benz pleaded guilty to one felony count this morning in connection with the case.
The state says Benz’ scheme was uncovered after the city of Ridgecrest ended its contract with Benz Sanitation for garbage pickup.
City officials noticed a big drop in the amount of trash being taken to the dump by the new company compared to Benz.
Ridgecrest police raided Benz headquarters and took documents the state says proves its case.
The attorney general says since Benz had a contract with Kern County he was able to take trash to the dump for free, but he wasn’t supposed to be taking Los Angeles County trash there for free.
Thursday's deal will force Benz to now pay the $1.8 million in fees. Benz will also have to pay the city of Ridgecrest $575,000.
He will also serve three years of felony probation and leave the company. Benz sanitation has also agreed to put GPS monitors on all its trucks.