Archive for Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Jefferson County Sheriff’s officials arrest Sudanese found at landfill

August 4, 2004

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The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office decided it was best to call the FBI to check the background of a homeless Sudanese man found living in a trailer at Hamm Sanitary Landfill north of Lawrence.

The man was, after all, a foreign squatter living near dynamite.

It turned out the 41-year-old man, discovered last week at the dump, 16984 Third St., was a refugee who came to the United States after his family was killed in the Sudanese revolution, Jefferson County Sheriff Roy Dunnaway said.

"We don't have any reason to believe he's a terrorist or anything," Dunnaway said. "Whenever you're an alien from out of the country, we always call and check it to see if everything's OK. It's not profiling or anything. ... It's just to contact everybody and make sure that if it was something we detected it."

Jeremy Hamm, a general manager at the 500-acre property, spotted the man from a distance Friday morning and saw him dive into a ditch.

"I knew he shouldn't have been there because he was a long way from where all the public comes in to go to the landfill," Hamm said.

Hamm looked into an air-conditioned trailer nearby and saw a bed, clothing and other items. The trailer is used by the state to test asphalt made on site but hasn't been used in recent weeks.

"It was a pretty good spot," Hamm said.

The trailer was near a spot where dynamite is stored for Hamm quarry operations, Dunnaway said.

Police said the man had been staying there for about two weeks. They arrested him on suspicion of criminal trespassing and stealing a small office item from the trailer. The man had a court appearance Monday and was released from jail on bond, Dunnaway said.

The county attorney couldn't be reached Tuesday for comment about whether the suspect been formally charged.

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