HOUSTON, TX. -- The Justice Department announced Tuesday, April 24, that a former BP engineer has been arrested on two counts of obstruction of justice for destroying evidence in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico.
The former BP engineer, 50-year old Kurt Mix from Katy, Texas, is the first person to be criminally charged by the DOJ. Mix is accused of deleting a string of 200 text messages with a BP supervisor in October 2010 that involved internal BP information about how efforts to cap the Macondo well were failing.
Having an accurate flow-rate estimate was needed to determine how much in civil and criminal penalties BP and the other companies drilling the Macondo well face under the Clean Water Act.
Mix will make an initial appearance in federal court in Houston on Tuesday afternoon. If Mix is convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.