DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2008                          PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                        PHONE: (409) 839-2538
                                                                                                 CELL: (409) 553-9881

BEAUMONT MAN GUILTY OF ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES

BEAUMONT, TX – United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe, announced today that a Beaumont business executive has pleaded guilty to environmental crimes in the Eastern District of Texas.
 
JOHN CHARLES "CHUCK" MAZOCH, 46, pleaded guilty to the felony offense of conspiring with others to store, transport, and dispose of hazardous wastes without a permit in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) today before United States District Judge Marcia Crone.

According to information presented in court, investigators with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) uncovered the conspiracy in January 2006 when they discovered approximately 555 compressed gas cylinders, containing various types of industrial gases, in a self storage facility in Sulphur, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. The investigators determined that the storage unit in question had been rented in April 2005 by a former associate of Mazoch's named James Hebert.  Investigators further learned that in March 2005 Mazoch had paid Hebert $30,000.00 to take possession of the cylinders and remove them from his property.  Hebert and another former Mazoch associate, Mark Sample, both pleaded guilty on May 22, 2007 to conspiring with Mazoch to illegally store, transport, and dispose of the cylinders.  The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act prohibits the storage, transportation, or disposal of hazardous wastes without a permit.  

Mazoch faces up to five years in federal prison at sentencing.  A sentencing date has not been set.

"Hazardous wastes must be stored and managed properly to ensure community, worker and environmental safety," said Warren Amburn, Special-Agent-in-Charge for EPA's criminal program in Dallas.         
  
The case is being investigated by the EPA's - Criminal Investigation Division (CID), Baton Rouge office and the LDEQ's CID, Baton Rouge office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim Noble.

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