Couple sentenced after turning yard into makeshift dump

McDOWELL COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – A Gary couple arrested for running an unauthorized dump are sentenced to time behind bars.

Gary Police Chief S.P. “Pat” McKinney says the two were both convicted of conspiracy charges and sentenced to a year in jail. They are able to spend that year on probation as long as the trash in their yard is cleared within 60 days.

“This is important to Gary because it’s shows that the prosecutor’s office and the magistrates will back us in our efforts,” said McKinney. “It was getting to a point where it’s kind of hard to tell someone to get rid of a single burn barrel or pick up three bags of trash when somebody has four tons of trash in their front yard.”

If the couple starts another dump site during the next year, they will have to finish the rest of their sentence behind bars.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at