Sherman Smith, owner
of Seawall Construction, a Seattle area marine construction company, was surrendered to the U.S. Marshall's Service in Tucson, Ariz., on April 1 by the Mexican Government. Smith had forfeited $20,000 bail when he failed to appear for trial in federal court in Washington State in May 1996 and had been living in Mexico. Smith was previously charged on Sept. 27, 1995, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle with violating the Clean Water Act. The charges arose from an oil spill that occurred when a tug sank in Puget Sound. Witnesses alleged that Smith had not properly maintained the tug and knew it was taking on water. Previously, in 1989, Smith had been convicted of pumping oily bilge water into Puget Sound.
The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the Washington State Environmental Crimes Task Force. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office in Seattle.