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Ship's Engineer Sentenced for Obstruction of Justice

Release Date: 04/08/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Stacie Findon-Keller, 202-564-4355 /

(04/08/05) Edgardo Guinto of the Philippines, Chief Engineer of the Motor Vessel Katerina was sentenced on March 24 to serve eight months in prison by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles for his conviction on charges of obstructing justice by concealing an oil pollution control system bypass pipe from federal investigators. The defendant admitted that he allowed the system to be bypassed, instructed crew members to remove and conceal the bypass pipe when the ship came into Long Beach Harbor and admitted that he made fraudulent entries in the ship's Oil Record Book. The pipe had been used to illegally discharge oil into the Pacific Ocean. Discharging untreated oily bilge water into the Pacific can harm fish and other aquatic life. The case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office, the Coast Guard's Investigative Service and the Los Angeles Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division. It was prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.