A chemical company headquartered in Pennsylvania has agreed to pay $1.3 million in fines and penalties after pleading guilty to violating U.S. law in connection with shipments to Mexico, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced Oct. 27. This amount includes a criminal fine of $650,000, a civil fine of $475,000 and forfeiture of $210,374. The company has also entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Drug Enforcement Administration under which it has agreed to comply with certain heightened compliance requirements regarding the manufacture, sale and shipment of listed chemicals and the DEA has agreed to forego administrative action against the company’s DEA registrations. The agreement must still be accepted and approved by the courts.
According to a USAO press release, the company manufactured, distributed, sold and exported monomethylamine, which is classified as a List I chemical and regulated by the DEA because it is a necessary chemical for one method of manufacturing methamphetamine. Due to this classification, a manufacturer of MMA is required to confirm the identity and verify the legitimacy of any customer to whom it ships the product. The manufacturer is also required to immediately report to the DEA any unusual or excessive loss or disappearance of the product.
Court documents show that between February and June 2010 the company shipped six loads of MMA to two different customers in Mexico for whom it had not obtained the required identification. Further, some shipments disappeared and the company failed to promptly report the disappearances. The DEA subsequently discovered some of the missing chemicals at locations in Arizona and U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted more of them during an attempt to transport them by truck into Mexico.
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