Monday, August 1, 2011

HCFC Smuggling: Miami Man Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Adalberto Jordan sentenced Brendan Clery, 34, to 18 months in prison and ordered him to pay a $10,000 criminal fine and forfeit illegal proceeds in the amount of $935,240. Clery pleaded guilty in April 2011 to knowingly importing approximately 278,256 kilograms of illegal hydrochlorofluorocarbon - 22 (HCFC-22, also known as R-22) into the United States.

"EPA takes seriously the smuggling of illegal substances that can harm the ozone layer, which protects us from harmful UVB radiation that can cause skin cancer and cataracts,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Today’s sentencing is an example of EPA’s commitment to aggressively enforce U.S. laws and meet our international obligations."

This case was part of a larger criminal investigation known as Operation Catch-22. It was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Criminal Investigation Bureau, and prosecuted by special assistant U. S. Attorney Jodi A. Mazer.

More information on EPA’s criminal enforcement program:

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