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FLORIDA MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO ILLEGAL CFC IMPORTATION

Release Date: 01/25/2002
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2002
FLORIDA MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO ILLEGAL CFC IMPORTATION

Luke C. Hester 202-564-7818/hester.luke@epa.gov


Patrick Palmer and Chester Risker of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act by illegally importing from the Bahamas approximately 300 cylinders of the ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant R-12. Some of this contraband R-12 was then sold to Florida businesses. R-12 is commonly used in air conditioners in cars that were manufactured before 1994. The importation of R-12 has been restricted under the Montreal Protocol because its release into the atmosphere depletes the earth’s ozone layer which protects people from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation such as cataracts and skin cancer. When sentenced each defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Customs Service and the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami.

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