The Justice Department on Tuesday made its first arrest in connection
with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, charging a former BP drilling
engineer with destroying evidence sought by federal authorities
investigating the April 2010 environmental disaster.
The Associated Press
reports that Kurt Mix, 50, is accused of deleting roughly 300 text
messages with a BP supervisor that recounted the oil company’s failing
efforts to cap the runaway well. Mix allegedly deleted around 200
messages from his iPhone in October 2010 and another 100 messages in
August of the following year after learning that his electronic files
were set to be collected.
The Justice Department alleges that those messages—some of which were
later recovered forensically—included sensitive internal information
collected in real-time as BP engineers struggled to plug the well that
shows the company intentionally underreported the scope of the disaster.