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Marion County officials address the public regarding two men charged with felony illegal dumping in the Ocala National Forest

OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) – Marion County Sheriff’s deputies are continuing to arrest two men for illegal dumping in the Ocala National Forest.

Gary Dwayne Cardwell, 41, was arrested on felony counts of dumping over 500 pounds of trash, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance that tested positive for fentanyl and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Cardwell was arrested in early June.

Johnny Vince Reese Jr., 37, was booked into the Marion County Jail Monday afternoon. He is accused of the crime of throwing more than 500 kilograms of garbage with Cardwell.

A news conference was held Monday, with County Commission Craig Curry, District Attorney Bill Gladsen, Ocala National Forest Rangers and others in attendance.

Manager Dave Hollingsworth assured residents that several groups are working hard to fix the litter problem.

“This is a big collaborative effort between multiple agencies and jurisdictions just to make sure we keep Ocala and Marion County as beautiful as they’ve always been.” Hollingsworth said.

District Ranger Carrie Sekerak of the Ocala National Forest explains how the Marion County Litter Task Force will help people rediscover the importance of nature.

“We’ve lost our way in caring for our natural resources, and this task force is helping us rediscover that value and treasure of Florida’s wild and special places.” Sekerak explained.

They encouraged anyone with information about Johnny Vince Reese Jr. is encouraged to call the CrimeStoppers hotline at (352) 368-7867.

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