BP oil spill case sees first criminal charges
NEW ORLEANS (KABC) -- The first criminal charges in the BP oil spill and Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico have been filed.
Texas resident Kurt Mix, a former BP engineer, was arrested for allegedly destroying evidence and was charged with two counts of obstruction of justice.
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in April 2010, killing 11 men on board and pouring 200 million gallons of oil. It was the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
Authorities say Mix has been charged with deleting some 200 text messages with a BP supervisor in October 2010 that involved internal BP information about how efforts to cap the oil well were failing.
According to the Justice Department, Mix had been repeatedly notified that he needed to retain such information regarding the oil well.
The charges confirm what government scientists later established through video - BP was lying about the amount of oil coming out of the well.
BP said it was cooperating with the federal investigation.
"BP had clear policies requiring preservation of evidence in this case and has undertaken substantial and ongoing efforts to preserve evidence," the company said in a statement.
If convicted, Mix faces 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count.
gulf coast, gulf oil spill, national news
- Southland seeing cold temps, windy conditions
- North Korea purges Kim Jong Un's uncle
- Holiday shipping deadlines quickly approaching
- Body of woman found on 5 Freeway in Santa Ana
- Cyclist killed in crash w/ sheriff patrol car
- Small plane lands on 241 toll road in OC
- IE shooting leaves 18-year-old man dead
- Icy storm persists, disrupts travel in east US
- abcnews: Campus cop fatally shoots Texas student
- Man wakes up locked inside dark empty plane
- American Airlines, US Airways merger complete 29 min ago
- Torre, La Russa, Cox elected to Hall of Fame
- Car rally held in honor of actor Paul Walker
- OTRC: Susan Boyle's Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis