Fraticelli Trucking Guilty Of Illegally Transporting Radioactive Material
US Attorney's Office San Juan Press Release
SAN JUAN, P.R. – On April 4, 2017, Fraticelli Trucking Company Inc. entered a guilty plea to one count of illegally transporting certain highly radioactive material in violation of Title 49, United States Code, Sections 5105(d), 5124(a) and (c), announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The guilty plea was entered pursuant to a Plea Agreement reached with the United States. The United States Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General handled the investigation.
The criminal violation, included in an Information filed today with the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, pertains to Fraticelli Trucking Company Inc.’s willful transportation of Cobalt 60, a Class 7 radioactive material, on March 7, 2014, between San Juan and Vega Alta, Puerto Rico via commercial highway without conducting the required pre-trip inspection for such material.
As a part of the Plea Agreement, Fraticelli Trucking Company Inc., a domestic for-profit corporation, stipulated that it contracted to transport a Highway Route Controlled Quantity (HRCQ) of the Class 7 radioactive material (Cobalt 60), within Puerto Rico. Further, at all relevant times, Fraticelli Trucking Company Inc. was aware of the requirement to obtain pre-trip inspections for the delivery and transportation of Cobalt 60 pursuant to Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 385.415(b)(1).
Specifically, Eduardo Fraticelli Alvarado, acting as an employee and authorized agent of Fraticelli Trucking Company Inc., completed, signed, and submitted US DOT, FMCSA, Combined Motor Carrier Identification Report and HAZMAT Permit Application Form MCS 150B to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) in or about August 2011, September 2013, and August, 2015. On each date, he certified knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations.
Despite knowledge of the required inspections for radioactive material, Fraticelli Trucking Company Inc. willfully transported Cobalt 60 without conducting the pre-trip inspection on four separate dates: December 7, 2011, July 11, 2012, February 19, 2013, and March 7, 2014.
No hazardous materials were released and no deaths nor bodily injuries were suffered.
“Safety inspections involving toxic or hazardous materials are mandatory and vital to the safety of workers and the surrounding communities,” said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez for the District of Puerto Rico. “Non-performance is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, and offenders will be prosecuted.”
“As evidenced by the guilty plea entered into today by Fraticelli Trucking Company related to transporting radioactive materials illegally on public highways, maintaining the safety and integrity of our public highways remains a top priority for both the Office of Inspector General and the Department of Transportation,” said Marlies T. González, U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General Regional Special Agent-in-Charge. “Working with our Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and prosecutorial colleagues, we will continue to enforce the hazardous materials laws against those who would seek to compromise the integrity of DOT's HAZMAT safety program.”
As a result of the guilty plea, Fraticelli Trucking Company Inc. may be sentenced to a term of one (1) to five (5) years of probation, a fine not to exceed five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00), and/or a term of supervised release of not more than three (3) years. The sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled by the presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Francisco A. Besosa. Assistant United States Attorney Seth Erbe is in charge of the prosecution of the case.