12 May – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Barbara L. Barnet, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Transportation – Office of Inspector General; and Tom Trammel, Director, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Law Enforcement, announced today that on May 10, 2005, defendant, Laparkan Trading Ltd., Co., an air, ocean, and motor carrier providing transportation services was sentenced for violating federal regulations in connection with transporting hazardous materials in violation of Title 49, United States Code, Section 5124. United States District Court Judge Patricia A. Seitz sentenced the Miami-based corporation to three (3) years of probation.
In addition to the term of probation, Judge Seitz ordered Laparkan Trading to pay a $75,000 criminal fine. Judge Seitz also imposed two (2) community service payments totaling $60,000 to the Miami-Dade Police Department units involved in hazardous materials investigations and emergency response.
The Information, which was filed by the government on February 28, 2005, charged Laparkan Trading Ltd. Co., with willfully transporting various hazardous materials from February 7, 2002 through February 8, 2002, in intrastate commerce by a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the safety regulations prescribed by the Department of Transportation. The hazardous materials were primarily solvents and cleaning substances, including phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, isopropanol, potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, and petroleum distillates NOS.
According to statements in court, as well as documents in the court file, an individual shipper purchased the contents of a warehouse, including solvents, chemicals, and cleaning materials, in January 2002 and then contacted Seaboard Marine, Ltd. Inc. to lease a 40-foot container and arrange for Seaboard Marine to ship the warehouse contents out of country. After the container was delivered to the Hialeah warehouse, it was loaded, packed, and sealed by the shipper. The container was then picked up by Seaboard Marine and transported to its facility at the Port of Miami.
Laparkan Trading admitted that the company did offer into intrastate transportation by a commercial motor vehicle hazardous materials without proper classification, description, marking, labeling, and packaging; without notice to the Department of Transportation and the National Response Center of the leakage; without providing hazardous material and emergency response information; without insuring that the hazardous materials were packaged so as to prevent release of hazardous materials; without properly securing packages inside the vehicle and without the re-packing of leaking packages.
Seaboard Marine was previously convicted in connection with the same incident and sentenced on May 4, 2005 to three (3) years probation by United States District Court Judge Alan S. Gold, and ordered to pay a $200,000 criminal fine and make full restitution to the state agencies that expended over $55,000 in clean-up costs. Seaboard Marine was also ordered to make two (2) community service payments totaling $50,000 to the Miami-Dade Police Department units involved in hazardous materials investigations and emergency response, and to implement a court ordered Hazardous Material Compliance Plan.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the United States Department of Transportation – Office of Inspector General; Florida Department of Environmental Protection – Division of Law Enforcement; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – Department of Transportation; Miami-Dade Police Department, Hazardous Materials Crime Unit; Miami-Dade Police Department – Intergovernmental Unit; and Hialeah Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diane Patrick.