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Man from Saipan Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy in Drinking Water Case

Release Date: 05/02/2003
Contact Information:

John Millett 202-564-7842/

(05/02/03) Roberto Ramilo of the Island of Saipan in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) pled guilty on April 25 in U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands to conspiracy to defraud the United States EPA with respect to the alleged falsification of bottled water samples. 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 admitted to tampering 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 plea agreement calls for the defendant to spend fifteen months in prison. The case was investigated by the San Francisco Area Office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI with assistance from the CNMI Division of Environmental Quality. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.