Charges have been dismissed against a Roanoke man accused of leaving hundreds of dead rat carcasses on property he owns off Lead Mines Road in southeastern Pulaski County.
After taking the case under advisement for nearly a year, a Pulaski County General District Court judge Tuesday dismissed the 200 charges against 45-year-old Alexander Montgomery Nelson IV.
The case was taken under advisement to make sure Nelson didn’t place additional rat carcasses on the property.
Initially, the court ordered Nelson to remove hundreds of carcasses State Police found stacked under tarps on the property last summer. However, the Department of Environmental Quality advised police those carcasses should be allowed to decompose on top of the ground rather than be buried. DEQ officials said burying the carcasses could cause them damage streams and the water table.
Nelson was charged with 200 counts of improperly disposing of animal carcasses.
Earlier, a judge told Nelson there was sufficient evidence to find him guilty due to the carcasses being “offensive” to Nelson’s neighbors and the public.
However, the court agreed to hold off imposing a finding of guilt under several conditions:
• Nelson move his “rat operation” out of Pulaski County;
• State Police or any other law enforcement agency be allowed to go onto the property to monitor the situation;
• Nelson cease raising rats or obtaining rats “alive or dead” on the property; and
• Nelson be subject to being found in contempt of court if the court’s terms and conditions are violated.