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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 22, 2020

Radiograph Technician on Natural Gas Pipeline Admits Falsifying Testing Results

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Scottdale, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of providing a false writing or document to the government, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Joshua D. Springer, 42, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Marilyn J. Horan.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Springer was employed as a Level II Radiograph Technician and was responsible for performing nondestructive testing of pipeline welds for the Mariner East natural gas pipeline. The testing included taking, reviewing and certifying x-rays of the welds to insure their integrity. Springer, however, falsified the x-ray results on approximately 77 occasions because the original x-rays were flawed. Springer then certified in writing that the welds had been properly x-rayed and the exposures were acceptable when, in truth and fact, such certifications were false.

Judge Horan scheduled sentencing for August 24, 2020 at 1:30 pm. The law provides for a total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court permitted Springer to remain free on an unsecured bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Lee J. Karl is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Department of Transportation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Springer.

Topic(s): 
Environment
Updated June 22, 2020