A Gloucester man was charged today in
federal court with one count of violating the Refuse Act for towing his
charter boat off the coast of Gloucester and sinking it in a commercial
United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Michael E. Hubbard, Special
Agent in Charge of the Environmental Protection Agency's Criminal
Enforcement Division in New England
; and William Schenkelberg, Special
Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region of the U.S. Coast Guard
Investigative Service, announced that Thomas W. Lukegord jr., was charged in an Information with
one count of violating the Refuse Act.
The Information alleges that Lukegord, the owner of a charter boat
service in Gloucester, towed a sixty-two foot charter boat named the Nicole
Renee to sea and sank it off the coast of Gloucester in approximately one
hundred feet of water. After removing fuel and other hazardous materials
from the vessel, Lukegord pumped water into it using a bilge pump until it
sank stern first. Lukegord had looked into disposing of the vessel
properly, but chose not to incur the expense. The vessel sank in an area
that is fished by commercial fishermen
, thereby creating a navigational
Lukgord has agreed to plead guilty
in this matter. According to the
plea agreement, Lukegord would be required to pay a fine, compensate the
U.S. Coast Guard for the expense of responding to the sinking, and issue a
public apology in regional periodicals. The plea agreement is subject to approval by the Court.
The case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency's
Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative
Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan F.
Mitchell in Sullivan's Economic Crimes Unit and EPA Senior Criminal
Enforcement Attorney Peter Kenyon.