Coast Guard Investigative Service News

23 Sep 2019

Coast Guard Arrests Illegal Charter Operator in Miami

Photo: Coast Guard

The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of the 45-foot pleasure craft, Breaking the Habit, with 12 passengers aboard Saturday near American Airlines Arena.Watchstanders determined that the vessel was operating illegally and in violation of a previous Captain of the Port order. This is the second time within a month the vessel was discovered operating as an illegal charter. A Coast Guard Station Miami Beach boarding team conducted the boarding of the pleasure craft and discovered the following violations:Violation of 46 C.F.R.

28 Aug 2019

Tanker Owner, Operator & Officers Guilty in ECA Crimes

File Image: AdobeStock / © 14KT Gold

The owner and operator will pay a total criminal fine of $3,000,000.00.U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert for the District of the Virgin Islands announced that IONIAN SHIPPING & TRADING CORP., LILY SHIPPING LTD., STAMATIOS ALEKIDIS, ATHANASIOS PITTAS and REY ESPULGAR have been convicted and sentenced for various pollution, recordkeeping, and obstruction of justice crimes on the Motor Tanker (“M/T”) Ocean Princess in St. Croix, U.S.V.I. The defendants’ conduct included using fuel that exceeded the maximum allowable sulfur concentration in the U.S. Caribbean Emission Control Area (“U.S.

26 Jun 2019

New Indictments in Table Rock Duck Boat Sinking

File Image: The Duck Boat salvage operation underway (CREDIT: USCG)

Two more employees of Ripley Entertainment, Inc. – the company that operated duck boat rides in Branson, Missouri – along with the captain of the duck boat that sank at Table Rock Lake last summer, resulting in the deaths of 17 people, have been indicted by a federal grand jury.Curtis P. Lanham, 36, of Galena, Missouri, and Charles V. Baltzell, 76, of Kirbyville, Missouri, were charged in a 47-count superseding indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield on Thursday, June 13.

24 Jun 2019

17.5 Tons of Cocaine found on Containership

Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)-led multi-agency examination of shipping containers at the Philadelphia seaport netted a historic load of cocaine, the largest cocaine seizure in the 230-year history of U.S. Customs and CBP, with an estimated weight of over 17.5 tons and a street value of about $1.1 billion.During a midstream joint boarding Sunday night, CBP, HSI, and U.S. Coast Guard authorities detected anomalies while examining seven shipping containers aboard the MSC Gayane…

24 Jun 2019

Shipping Company Pleads Guilty to Environmental Laws

© Giorgos Tsampazis/ MarineTraffic.com

Portline Bulk International S.A. pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, to one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and one count of Obstruction. The charges stem from the falsification of the Oil Record Book onboard the M/V Achilleus, a Maltese-flagged ocean-going bulk carrier ship managed by Defendant Portline.From April 2017 to August 2018, senior members of the vessel’s engineering team oversaw and participated in the bypass of the ship’s Oil Water Separator utilizing a yellow plastic hose, referred to as a magic pipe.

25 Apr 2019

Vessel Owner, C/E Indicted on Environmental Charges

Adobe Stock / Renaschild

A federal grand jury in Wilmington, Delaware, returned a six-count indictment today charging Chartworld Shipping Corporation, Nederland Shipping Corporation, and Chief Engineer Vasileios Mazarakis with failing to keep accurate pollution control records, falsifying records, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering, the Justice Department announced.The charges stem from the falsification of records and other acts designed to cover up from the Coast Guard the overboard discharges of oily mixtures and machinery space bilge water from the Bahamian-flagged cargo vessel…

19 Apr 2019

Shipping Firm Fined $4M for Pollution Violation

File Image: AdobeStock / © Renaschild

$1 Million Will Go to Projects that Support Cleanup of Marine Pollution, Preservation of Aquatic Life, and Restoration of Shorelines around Newark Bay.A shipping company based in Italy today admitted discharging oily waste and other pollutants into the sea and then lying about it, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito and Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark announced.The company, d’Amico Shipping Italia S.p.A., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging it with violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

01 Mar 2019

USCG Slaps Illegal PV operator with Fine

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

Representatives from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago announced that the owner of two recreational pleasure boats has been fined $80,000 for operating as an illegal passenger vessel business on Lake Michigan for at least the past two years.Robert Glick of Chicago, owner of the 35-foot boats Allora and Fun, was charged with violating three separate federal regulations for each boat while operating a business that involved transporting paying passengers.The fine represents…

05 Nov 2018

U.S. DOJ Announces Environmental Crimes Conviction

File Image / Adobestock © renaschild

German Shipping Operator Sentenced to Pay $3.2 Million for Obstruction of Justice and Falsifying Official Logs to Hide Deliberate Oil Pollution. The previously Convicted Company Committed Environmental Crimes While on Probation.A German shipping company, MST Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition und Transport GmbH (MST), pleaded guilty and was sentenced today in Portland, Maine, for obstruction of justice and for maintaining false official records to conceal deliberate pollution from one of its ships, the M/V Marguerita, announced Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey B.

23 May 2018

Ship Tech: U.S. Coast Guard R&D Center

Mr. William Bryan, Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary for Science and Technology, receives a personal demonstration of the Coast Guard Hailing Acoustic and Laser Light Tactical System (HALLTS) installed on a Coast Guard boat, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, on the Thames River, New London, Connecticut. Bryan visited the Research and Development Center to observe the HALLTS as part of a larger technology demonstration. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo courtesy of Research and Development Center)

The U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) in New London, Connecticut, is the service's only command conducting research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) support for all 11 statutory missions. Since its commissioning in 1972, RDC has been involved in over 2,000 projects and initiatives that have significantly benefited the Coast Guard and the components of the Maritime Transportation System. As the demand for research and development capability grows within the service…

11 May 2018

US Fines Shipping Company $1 Mln for Pollution Crimes

© Roy Ledford / MarineTraffic.com

A Japanese shipping company will have to pay $1 million after being convicted and sentenced for obstruction of justice and falsification of an Oil Record Book to cover-up intentional pollution from bulk carrier M/V Atlantic Oasis.The company Nitta Kisen Kaisha Ltd., owner and operater of the Atlantic Oasis, admitted that its engineers failed to document the illegal discharge of oily wastes from the vessel’s fuel and lubrication oil purifier systems, as well as discharges of oily bilge waste from the bilge holding tank and from the vessel’s bilges when delivering steel products to Wilmington…

27 Feb 2018

Tanker Operator, Master Sentenced for Pollution

A tanker vessel operator and master were convicted this week for maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of oil and garbage from an oil tanker that was operating off the coast of Texas. On Monday, operator Sea World Management & Trading Inc. and the master of tanker Sea Faith, Edmon Fajardo, pleaded guilty to two felony violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships for failing to accurately maintain the Sea Faith’s Oil Record Book and Garbage Record Book, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick and Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood. Both admitted that oil cargo residues and machinery…

13 Jan 2017

US Sentences Greek Shippers for Obstruction, Pollution

Two Greek shipping companies were sentenced to pay corporate penalties totaling $2.7 million after being convicted for obstructing justice, violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), tampering with witnesses and conspiracy. Each company was ordered to pay part of its penalty to Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary in recognition of the threat posed by illegal discharges of oily waste to the marine environment. The case stems from an inspection of the M/V Ocean Hope, a large cargo ship, conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard at the Port of Wilmington, N.C. in July 2015. During that inspection, senior engineers for the companies tried to hide that the vessel had been dumping oily wastes into the ocean for months.

20 Mar 2017

Fishing Vessel Captain Pleads Guilty to Pollution Charges

A captain of the fishing vessel (F/V) Native Sun pleaded guilty in federal court in Seattle for discharging oily-waste directly into the ocean in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and the federal conspiracy statute. Randall Fox pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Lasnik of the Western District of Washington to two criminal felony counts for violating APPS’ prohibition against discharging oily-wastes, namely machinery-space bilge water, directly into the ocean. According to court documents, Randall Fox and other coconspirators repeatedly discharged the oil-contaminated bilge water into the ocean using unapproved submersible pumps and hoses.

20 Apr 2017

Princess Cruises Fined $40 Mln for Pollution

Caribbean Princess (Photo: Princess Cruise Lines Ltd.)

Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. was sentenced to pay a $40 million penalty – the largest-ever for crimes involving deliberate vessel pollution – related to illegal dumping overboard of oil contaminated waste and falsification of official logs in order to conceal the discharges. The sentence was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, and Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida in Miami. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Patricia A.

22 Jun 2017

Shipping Firms Pay $1.9 Mln for Pollution Cover-up

Two shipping companies based in Egypt and Singapore will pay $1.9 million in penalties after pleading guilty in federal court to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and obstruction of justice for covering up the illegal dumping of oil-contaminated bilge water and garbage into the sea. Defendants Egyptian Tanker Company and Thome Ship Management are the owner and operator of the offending vessel, the 57,920 gross ton, 809-foot long, oceangoing, oil tank ship called the M/T ETC Mena. The plea agreement was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston for the Eastern District of Texas.

16 Aug 2017

HII to Pay $9.2 Mln in False Billing Settlement

File photo: Chris Oxley / HII

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (HII) has agreed to a $9.2 million settlement of allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly overbilling the government for labor on U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships at its shipyards in Pascagoula, Miss. Under the settlement, HII will make a payment of $7.9 million which, combined with earlier repayments, will result in the settlement recovery of approximately $9.2 million. “Contractors that knowingly bill the government in violation of contract terms will face serious consequences,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A.

25 Aug 2017

MST, Reederei Indicted for Falsifying Pollution Records

The U.S. Justice Department announced a federal grand jury in Portland, Maine, returned a nine-count indictment today charging MST Mineralien Schiffarht Spedition Und Transport GmbH (MST) and Reederei MS “Marguerita” GmbH & Co. Geschlossene Investment KG (Reederei) with failing to keep accurate pollution control records and falsifying records. The charges stem from the falsification of records in 2016 and 2017 designed to cover up overboard discharges of oily mixtures and machinery space bilge water from the Liberian-flagged cargo vessel, M/V Marguerita. On at least eight occasions between September 2016 and June 2016, the M/V Marguerita entered United States waters and ports with a false and misleading Oil Record Book available for inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard.

17 Aug 2016

Senior Officers Admit to Concealing Oily Waste Discharge

Two senior engineering officers employed by an Italian shipping company admitted they deliberately concealed their vessel’s discharge of oily waste into the sea, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Girolamo Curatolo, 50, of Custonaci, Sicily, the chief engineer of an oil tanker, the M/T Cielo di Milano, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to violate the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. Danilo Maimone, 31, of Furci Siculo, Sicily, the ship’s first assistant engineer, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with conspiring to obstruct justice. The vessel, owned by D’Amico Shipping Italia S.p.A.

19 Aug 2016

US Fines Korean Shipper for 2nd Pollution Violation

United States District Court Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi accepted the guilty plea of Doorae Shipping Co., LTD, a South Korean maritime operations company, and sentenced the company to pay a fine of $275,000, and a term of three years of probation for the failure to maintain an accurate oil record book, in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. According to the Information to which Doorae pled guilty, the operation of a marine vessel, such as the B. Pacific, a petroleum oil tank ship registered under the flag administration of the Marshall Islands, and operated by Doorae, generates large quantities of waste oil and oil-contaminated waste water. International and U.S. law requires that these vessels use pollution prevention equipment to preclude the discharge of these materials.

26 Oct 2016

German Shipping Firms Convicted of Environmental Crimes

Photo: Sap Marine

Two German shipping companies that owned and operated the Motor Vessel (M/V) Nils B, pleaded guilty today to an environmental crime in federal court in San Diego before the Honorable Jan M. Adler, announced Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden and United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy. W. Bockstiegel Reederei GmbH  & Co. KG (which operated the vessel) and W. Bockstiegel GmbH & Co. Reederei KG MS “NILS B” (which owned the vessel), pleaded guilty to one felony violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships for failing to accurately maintain an oil record book for the M/V Nils B.

22 Nov 2016

Italian Tanker Officer Receives 8-month Prison Sentence

A senior engineering officer employed by an Italian shipping company was sentenced to eight months in prison for deliberately concealing a vessel’s discharge of oily waste into the sea, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Girolamo Curatolo of Custonaci, Sicily, the chief engineer of an oil tanker, the M/T Cielo di Milano, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to violate the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence November 21 in Newark federal court. According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, the vessel, owned by D’Amico Shipping Italia S.p.A.

08 Dec 2016

Ship Engineers Receive Prison Sentences for Pollution Crimes

Cassius Samson, 52, and Rustico Ignacio, 66, both of the Philippines, were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Malcolm Howard for the Eastern District of North Carolina to serve jail time for obstructing a U.S. Coast Guard inspection that took place in July 2015 aboard the cargo ship Ocean Hope at the Port of Wilmington, North Carolina. Samson was sentenced to a term of 12 months in prison followed by a year of supervised release and Ignacio to a term of nine months followed by a year of supervised release. Ignacio was the chief engineer and Samson the second engineer of the Ocean Hope. In September 2016, both were convicted of conspiracy, violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, obstruction of justice and witness tampering, by a federal jury in Greenville, North Carolina.

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