Two years after the BP oil spill, that killed 11 people and became the nations worst off shore disaster of its kind in history and authorities have made their first arrest.
Federal authorities arrested BP engineer 50-year-old Kurt Mix and charged him with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting more than 300 text messages that showed oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico was in fact much greater than what the company later reported.
From the start of the explosion back in April 2010 President Obama's team said BP would be held accountable.
Experts say the charges suggest this is the first of many arrest in the government's case against BP. Still, In the last two years at least 10 experts, whistle blowers and BP connected personnel have died under mysterious circumstances, several of them killed, some crashing in planes, others are missing.
In an emailed statement, BP said it would not comment on the case but is cooperating with the Justice Department and other investigations into the oil spill. Recently the company reached a settlement of nearly 8 million dollars to victims of the spill, which is still of little relief for many who work and have depended on the gulf coast for their livelihood.
According to the affidavit, BP’s internal estimates of the flow exceeded 15,000 barrels a day, far higher than the rate the company acknowledged at the time of the spill.
The long-term effects of the spill are still being assessed. Criminal penalties that could be levied against BP and its partners in the operation would be based in part on estimates of the amount of oil that spilled from the Macondo well.
If convicted, Mix faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. The statement did not say whether Mix had a lawyer.