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Texas Man Sentenced for Illegal Asbestos Removal in Colorado

Release Date: 10/01/2003
Contact Information:

Luke C. Hester 202-564-7818 /

(10/01/2003) Daniel Argil of Houston, Texas, was sentenced on Sept. 17 to serve 68 months in prison and pay fines exceeding $232,000 in restitution to the Morgan Colorado County School District. He previously pled guilty to charges of illegally handling asbestos at the Ft. Morgan High School, in Ft. Morgan, Colo. A co-defendant, David Backus of Cheyenne, Wyo., will be sentenced at a later date. Argil was a project supervisor for National Service Cleaning Corp. (NSCC), an asbestos abatement company that worked at the Ft. Morgan High School in 1999. In his plea agreement, Argil admitted that he caused asbestos to be released into the air, causing a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to NSCC employees during the removal. He also admitted he caused a risk to Ft. Morgan High School students, faculty and staff when they returned to the contaminated high school in the fall of 1999. Inhaling airborne asbestos is a known cause of lung cancer, a lung disease known as “asbestosis” and mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division (Denver), the Internal Revenue Service and the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (now the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security). Investigative assistance was provided by EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver.