A former BP engineer was convicted today of deleting text messages considered evidence in the federal investigation of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Kurt Mix, 52, of Katy, Texas, faces up to 20 years in prison.
“Today a jury in New Orleans found that Kurt Mix purposefully obstructed the efforts of law enforcement during the investigation of the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman said in a written statement. Mix worked on BP’s efforts to stop the leak and figure out how much oil was leaking. BP told Mix numerous times to retain all related information, according to the Justice Department.
The Justice Department said that, after Mix learned in October 2010 that his electronic filed were to be collected by a vendor working for BP’s lawyers he deleted from his iPhone a text string that contained more than 300 messages with his BP supervisor.
The jury convicted Mix of one count of obstruction of justice. He was aquitted on a second count.