Two Tampa Corporations And Four Tampa Residents Plead Guilty To Scheme To Unlawfully Sell An Unregistered Pesticide And Obstruct Justice
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Maureen O’Mara, Special Agent in Charge, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID), Michael A. Hill, Special Agent in Charge, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Inspector General (EPA-OIG), Atlanta Field Office, and Colonel/Director Calvin Adams, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Law Enforcement (FWCC), announce that New Nautical Coatings, Inc., d/b/a “Sea Hawk Paints,” Sea Hawk Refinish Line, Inc., d/b/a “Refinish Line Auto Supplies,” of Clearwater, and Erik Norrie, 42, David Norrie, 46, Jason Revie, 44, and Tommy Craft, 46, each of Hillsborough County, pled guilty before United States District Judge Ursula Ungaro.
New Nautical Coatings, Inc. and David Norrie pled guilty to willfully conspiring to corruptly obstruct the due and proper administration of law under which a pending proceeding was being had before the Environmental Protection Agency, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. At sentencing, David Norrie faces up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. At sentencing, New Nautical Coatings, Inc. faces a fine of up to $500,000, or twice the gross pecuniary gain resulting from the offense, whichever is greater, and a term of probation of not less than one year and not more than five years. Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, New Nautical has agreed to pay a fine of $1,235,315.00, and implement a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Plan in cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the EPA.
Sea Hawk Refinish Line and Erik Norrie pled guilty to willfully conspiring to knowingly distribute and sell an unregistered pesticide, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. Jason Revie and Tommy Craft pled guilty to knowingly distributing and selling an unregistered pesticide, in violation of Title 7, United States Code, Section 136j(a)(1)(A). At sentencing, Erik Norrie, Jason Revie and Tommy Craft face up to one year in prison, up to one year of supervised release and a $100,000 fine. Sea Hawk Refinish Line, Inc. faces a fine of up to $200,000, or twice the gross pecuniary gain resulting from the offense, whichever is greater, and a term of probation of not more than five years.
According to court documents, New Nautical manufactured a marine paint called Biocop Anti-Fouling Coating which contained tributyltin methacrylate (“TBT”), a pesticide subject to registration with the EPA that was found to have a significant harmful effect on marine life. On or about March 30, 2005, the EPA cancelled New Nautical’s registration for Biocop, making it unlawful for the company to manufacture Biocop for sale in the United States after December 1, 2005, or sell Biocop in the United States after December 31, 2005. At the time, New Nautical was the last manufacturer of TBT based anti-fouling coatings in the United States.
In order to manufacture and sell Biocop after its registration was canceled, New Nautical Coatings conceived and executed a plan to produce and sell Biocop in the United States by making it appear that it had manufactured Biocop prior to December 1, 2005, and sold its inventory of the banned pesticide to distributors, including to codefendant Refinish Line, by December 31, 2005. In an effort to conceal New Nautical’s unlawful production and sale of Biocop from authorities, David Norrie falsely represented to an EPA inspector that New Nautical had sold its existing stock of Biocop to distributors. Additionally, after David Norrie sold 60 gallons of Biocop to a customer in Broward County, he directed that customer to tell the EPA that he did not have Biocop and that New Nautical did not sell Biocop.
Sentencing for all defendants is scheduled for December 5, 2014.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of EPA-CID, EPA-OIG, and FWCC. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alejandro O. Soto and Maria Medetis.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.