Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vessel master indicted in Kodiak pollution case

From the U.S. attorney's office in Anchorage:

March 22, 2012

Master of F/V Chisik Island charged with polluting Kodiak harbor

ANCHORAGE — U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that Victor Allen Buchanan, of Kodiak, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage for discharging pollutants into St. Paul Harbor, Kodiak.

The two-count indictment named Buchanan, 56, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment presented to the court, the 86-foot commercial fishing vessel Chisik Island is owned and operated by Buchanan. He is charged with discharging oil-contaminated bilge water and raw sewage into St. Paul Harbor from his vessel between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4, 2011.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Retta Randall, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of three years in prison, with maximum fines of $25,000 per day of violation.

Under the federal sentencing guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The Marine Safety Detachment in Kodiak, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Sherman, and the Coast Guard Investigative Service conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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