US refrigerant smuggler sentenced to 13 months
USA: Carlos A Garcia, the US man found guilty in April for refrigerant smuggling, has been sentenced to 13 months prison.
Garcia pled guilty to a charge of knowingly receiving, buying, selling and facilitating the transportation, concealment, and sale of approximately 13,600kg of R22 in the USA. Garcia's employer, Mar-Cone Appliance Parts Co, was previously convicted and sentenced for their role in the illicit conduct and ordered to pay a $500,000 criminal fine, a $400,000 community service payment, and was ordered to forfeit tover $190,000 in illegal proceeds.
After completion of the 13 month sentence, Garcia will serve a two-year term of supervised release that includes four months of home confinement under electronic monitoring.
'The smuggling of goods contrary to law poses a significant threat to national security and public safety. And in this particular case, the illegal importation posed a global hazard to our environment,' said Alysa Erichs, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Miami. This case demonstrates HSI's partnership and aggressive approach with the US Attorney's office and EPA to protect the American public from inferior and unsafe products.'
According to court records and proceedings, Garcia was the senior vice-president of Marcone's Heating and Cooling Division responsible for executing legal purchases and sales of refrigerant gas. Instead Garcia engaged in a pattern of conduct to purchase and sell black market R22. The investigation revealed that the defendant routinely arranged the purchase of R22 from importers who did not hold the required unexpended consumption allowances, totaling approximately 55,488kg of restricted R22, with a market value of approximately $639,458. The refrigerant gas was routinely distributed by Marcone throughout the US.