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United States v. Agosto-Vega
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
617 F.3d 541 (2010)
Braulio Agosto-Vega (defendant) owned Braulio Agosto Motors, Inc. (Agosto Motors) (defendant) and Mansiones de Hacienda Jiménez, Inc. (Mansiones). Agosto Motors, a car dealership, and Mansiones, a real estate-development company, were located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Both were family corporations that operated out of the Agosto Motors dealership and had overlapping employees and officers. Agosto-Vega was the principal officer of each corporation. One of Mansiones’ developments was a housing project in Río Grande. The project’s septic tanks began overflowing into front yards, sidewalks, and streets. Agosto-Vega had Mansiones employees collect the raw sewage and dispose of it into the nearby Jiménez Creek. The creek, which was used for fresh water and recreation, flowed into the Espíritu Santo River, which in turn emptied into the Atlantic Ocean. In discharging the raw sewage, the Mansiones employees used either an underground pipe or a large truck registered to Agosto Motors. Agosto-Vega was charged with conspiracy to discharge the raw sewage into waters of the United States in violation of the Clean Water Act, and both Agosto-Vega and Agosto Motors were charged with aiding and abetting the discharges. Agosto-Vega and Agosto Motors were convicted on each count and subsequently appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Torruella, J.)
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