Former BP Engineer Pleads Not Guilty To Obstruction of Justice

May 4, 2012

A man facing the first criminal charges stemming from the BP oil spill has pleaded not guilty to obstructing justice. Federal authorities say he may have been planning to leave the United States permanently.

Former BP engineer Kurt Mix of Katy, Texas, was arrested last week. Authorities say he had applied for a green card to Canada with hopes of a one-way permanent move to Australia, where he’d been offered a job. Mix is accused of deleting hundreds of text messages to sidestep a grand jury investigation of the 2010 spill. The FBI says messages indicated more oil was leaking from the well than the company was letting on. Mix has posted $100,000 bail and is under domestic travel restrictions.