UPDATE: NMSP spokesperson Emmanuel Gutierrez says not all of the trash at the dump site was Mariscal’s and that he cleaned up what was his. Gutierrez says although the couch appears similar to one that was on Facebook, it’s not Mariscal’s couch.
RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – It was sitting in one of the many parts of Rio Rancho where the pavement ends and the New Mexico desert takes over, a sad but not unusual sight.
A man enjoying the unpaved roads and trails in this area near the Santa Ana Star Center stumbled upon an ugly pile of trash and broken furniture.
There was a torn-up couch, box springs wrapped in plastic, a box of clothes, folded up cardboard boxes, a light bulb and splintered wood among the debris.
There was also a garbage bag that caught the eye of the man.
“This guy’s credit card bills and waste management bills were sticking out of the garbage there,” said the man, who is asking to remain anonymous because of a fear of retribution. “I was thinking I would go home and give the guy a call and let him know he must’ve misplaced his big pile of garbage.”
The name on all those bills is Michael Mariscal, who you’d think would know better.
That’s because Mariscal is a New Mexico State police officer.
On top of the seemingly incriminating bills, a quick check of Mariscal’s Facebook page shows a picture of what appears to be the same couch that was dumped.
New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas told News 13 in a statement that he’s ordered Mariscal to clean up the mess and opened an administrative inquiry.
“This type of behavior is not tolerated or condoned by myself,” Kassetas said.
If Mariscal wanted to dump his trash legally, he wouldn’t have had to go far.
There’s a Waste Management landfill and the Sandoval County landfill each within 3 miles of the illegal dump site. The estimated cost to dump that trash at both sites is less than $15.
Under Rio Rancho’s city code, if a bill or other identifying document is found at an illegal dump site, that person is presumed to be responsible for the trash and can be cited. It’s unclear if a citation will be issued in this case.