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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 26, 2018

Tank Vessel Operator and Master Convicted for Oil and Garbage Offenses

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Sea World Management & Trading Inc. and Edmon Fajardo were convicted today 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, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick and Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood.

Sea World Management & Trading Inc. is a tank vessel operating company, and Fajardo is the master of the tank vessel Sea Faith. Both admitted that oil cargo residues and machinery space bilge water were illegally dumped from the Sea Faith directly into the ocean while the vessel was transiting to Corpus Christi without the use of required pollution prevention equipment. They also admitted that these discharges were not recorded in the vessel’s Oil Record Book as required. Specifically, on five different occasions between March 10, 2017, and March 18, 2017, Fajardo ordered crew members to illegally discharge oily waste from various locations of the vessel’s cargo/deck spaces. These oily waste discharges bypassed the use of the vessel’s required oil discharge monitoring equipment and were done while the vessel was in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

Sea World Management & Trading Inc. and Fajardo further admitted that on March 10, 2017, and March 15, 2017, Fajardo ordered crew members to throw plastics, empty steel drums, oily rags, batteries and empty paint cans directly overboard into the ocean. None of these garbage discharges were recorded as required in the vessel’s Garbage Record Book. 

Sea World Management & Trading Inc. and 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. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the company will pay a total fine of $2.25 million and serve a three-year term of probation during which all vessels the company operated and calling on U.S. ports will be required to implement a robust Environmental Compliance Plan. Fajardo was also sentenced today to six months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. 

The U.S. Coast Guard Corpus Christi Sector, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and Environmental Protection Agency-Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney-In-Charge Julie K. Hampton and Trial Attorney Stephen Da Ponte of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Environment
Component(s): 
Updated February 26, 2018