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PA CFC SMUGGLER CAUGHT AFTER CROSSING THE RIO GRANDE
Release Date: 04/18/97
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 1997
CFC SMUGGLER CAUGHT AFTER CROSSING THE RIO GRANDE
Jesus Pacheco-Pina was named in a three-count indictment on April 8, in U.S. District Court in Laredo, Texas, on charges related to the alleged smuggling of five 30-pound canisters of CFC-12 into the United States. CFC-12 is an ozone-depleting refrigerant gas used in air conditioners. Depletion of the earth's protective ozone layer exposes people to levels of ultraviolet radiation which can cause cataracts and skin cancer. U.S. Border Patrol Agents allege that Pacheco, and five other individuals who were not captured, carried the canisters as they swam across the Rio Grande into the United States . Pacheco was arrested by Border Patrol agents on March 20, as he was allegedly loading the cylinders into an automobile on the American side of the river. He is charged with smuggling, violating Clean Air Act regulations governing the importation of CFC-12, and conspiring with five other individuals to smuggle the canisters. If convicted, Pacheco faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of up to $750,000. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Border Patrol and the U.S. Customs Service.
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