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Man from Saipan Sentenced in Drinking Water Case

Release Date: 08/06/2003
Contact Information:

John Millett 202-564-7842 /

(08/06/03) Roberto Ramilo of the Island of Saipan in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) was sentenced to 15 months in prison, three years of supervised release and a $3,000 fine on July 29 in U.S. District Court for the District of the Northern Mariana Islands for his conviction on charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. EPA with respect to the alleged falsification of bottled water samples. Upon completion of his sentence, the defendant will be turned over to immigration authorities and will be barred from entering the United States or its possessions without permission from the U.S. Attorney General. Ramilo, who had been indicted under the name of Angelito Delos Santos, was in the business of supplying and maintaining drinking water filtration equipment to garment factories, bottled water companies and restaurants on the Island of Saipan. Specifically, the defendant tampered with drinking water samples to make it appear as if the samples met federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards. Tampering with drinking water samples can expose the public to high levels of bacteria in drinking water which can cause a variety of infections and abdominal illnesses. The case was investigated by the EPA Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI with assistance from the CNMI Division of Environmental Quality. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.