The message was loud and clear.
If you put waste where it's not suppose to be in Franklin County, you'll pay the price.
Matthew Ferguson, 34, faces up to 26 years in prison for illegally dumping tens of thousands of gallons of waste on to other people's property.
Ferguson wasn't charged just once, but twice. He originally faced 35 combined counts, but took an agreement to plea guilty to 26 counts.
Captain Marvin Woods has followed the case since January and has actually caught Ferguson in the act.
"Everyone makes mistakes, but to continually make them after you've been caught," Franklin County Public Safety Captain Marvin Woods Marvin Woods says. "To have no regard for other people's safety, I've never seen anything like it."
Investigators say Ferguson has dumped at a church, bank, someone's property, and in a lagoon.
Frank Wood lives in Callaway. Ferguson has dumped on his property not once, but twice. So far, he's spent $2,600 cleaning up the damage.
"I can understand why he pleaded guilty, because if this kind of thing that went in front of a jury, they would fry him," dumping victim Frank Wood says.
Wood actually asked Ferguson to clear septic tanks on three of his properties.
Now he knows, that sewage might have just gone right back to the area where it started.
"I was very disappointed, because he seemed like a nice guy and I just couldn't understand where his head was," Wood says.
Nice guy or not, illegally dumping on four different properties is something this community didn't think was very nice at all.
Ferguson's sentencing is set for October 30th at 3 p.m.
An event that brought thousands of people to Salem this year is coming back next year. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for the Blue Ridge Music Festival.