Engineer arrested, feds probe BP's spill response

April 24, 2012 

Gulf Oil Spill

Former BP engineer Kurt Mix leaves the federal courthouse after a hearing Tuesday, April 24, 2012, in Houston. Federal prosecutors brought the first criminal charges Tuesday in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, accusing Mix of deleting more than 300 text messages that indicated the blown-out well was spewing far more crude than the company was telling the public at the time.

AP PHOTO/PAT SULLIVAN — AP

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - By arresting a former BP engineer, federal prosecutors for the first time showed their hand in the Gulf oil spill case, saying they were probing whether BP PLC and its employees broke the law by intentionally lowballing how much oil was spewing from its out-of-control well.

Two years and four days after the drilling-rig explosion that set off the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, 50-year-old Kurt Mix of Katy, Texas, was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting about 300 text messages that indicated the blown-out well was spewing far more crude than the company was telling the public at the time.

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