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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Former Custom Carbon Processing official sentenced for failing to surrender to prison for convictions stemming from explosion of Wibaux oil processing plant

BILLINGS – The former president of Custom Carbon Processing, Inc., convicted of Clean Air Act violations in the explosion of an oil processing plant in Wibaux, was sentenced today after admitting he failed to surrender to prison to begin serving an 18-month prison term, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Peter Margiotta, 64, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was sentenced to one day in prison, consecutive to his 18-month sentence, after he pleaded guilty today to an indictment charging him with failure to surrender for service of sentence.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided and sentenced Margiotta immediately after his plea hearing. Margiotta was detained.

Under the terms of a plea agreement filed in the case, the government and Margiotta agreed that a sentence of one day of imprisonment was appropriate and that Margiotta would voluntarily dismiss any appeal of his previous convictions or sentence in the case involving Clean Air Act violations.

In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that on July 10, 2020, Margiotta was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and was permitted to self-surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his sentence.

A jury in September 2019 found Margiotta guilty of all three counts in an indictment charging him with conspiracy, Clean Air Act-general duty and Clean Air Act-knowing endangerment, for his actions related to a 2012 explosion that injured three workers at the company’s oil processing plant in Wibaux.

The government alleged that the court gave Margiotta three extensions of time to self-report to prison, with the third deadline for self-reporting to the Bureau of Prisons’ SeaTac Facility in Seattle, Washington, on or before Jan. 15, 2021. Margiotta failed to self-surrender by Jan. 15. Margiotta turned himself into law enforcement authorities in Sweetgrass on March 25.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan T. Dake and Eric E. Nelson, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation.

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Topic(s): 
Environment
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair J. Howard Public Affairs Officer 406-247-4623
Updated July 13, 2021