Former BP drilling engineer convicted of federal investigation obstruction
Kurt Mix, a former BP drilling engineer, was convicted Wednesday by a federal jury for obstructing a federal probe into a 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Prosecutors charged Mix for deleting hundreds of text messages from his cellphone in an attempt to destroy evidence concerning BP’s efforts to clean up the spill.
Mix’s lawyers, The Associated Press reported Wednesday, had argued that the former engineer had not been hiding evidence and had preserved records that contained the same information as the deleted messages.
Mix was part of a team that had worked on BP’s unsuccessful “top kill” effort to cap the oil spill. He is the first of four former or current BP employees who have been charged for crimes related to the spill.
The jury acquitted Mix of a second charge. Sentencing is scheduled for March 26, where Mix can be given a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.