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Two Shipping Companies and Chief Engineer Indicted in Oregon
Release Date: 01/27/2005
Contact: Stacie Findon 202-564-7338 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(01/27/05) Royno Shipping of Athens, Greece, owner of the Motor Vessel John G. Lemos, Pacific and Atlantic Shipping, also of Athens and operator of the Lemos, and Joey Lebuna, chief engineer of the Lemos, were each indicted on Jan. 13 in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in Portland, Ore., on charges alleging that they impeded a federal investigation by falsifying the Lemos' Oil Record Book and released oil into the Pacific Ocean using a bypass pipe in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA). On Jan. 4, the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office conducted a routine Port State Control inspection of the Lemos at the Port of Portland. The Lemos is a 473-foot, Cypress-flagged bulk cargo carrier. The inspection of the vessel revealed alleged false entries in the ship's Oil Record Book and the discovery of a "jumper pipe" allegedly used to bypass the ship's Oil Water Separator in violation of the CWA and the MARPOL Protocol, which regulates the discharge of oil from ships. After initiating a joint criminal investigation U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and EPA Criminal Investigation Division Special Agents executed a federal search and seizure warrant on the Lemos and presented evidence to the Grand Jury three days later. Discharging untreated oily bilge water into the ocean can harm fish and other aquatic life. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Portland.