Davenport man in hot water over dumped cooking oil

- A sludgy, goopy mess in Davenport turned out to be 10,000 gallons of used cooking oil. Now, a 50-year-old man is accused of dumping it there.

The mess was in a vacant lot near Sand Mine Road and U.S. Highway 27. According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and ACT Environmental, it's the largest spill ever found in Polk County.

Investigators tracked the sludge to a pump truck found near the scene. Deputies arrested the operator, Peter Rodriguez, on two counts of commercial dumping.  

They say he admitted to dumping the sludge and claimed he had to do it to keep his job with Brownies Septic and Plumbing.

But the company says they have no idea why Rodriguez would dump the oil because it's picked up from various locations in the area, then disposed of at a business in Orlando to be sold.

Rodriguez, 50, has been released from jail on a $2,000 bond.

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