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US man faces 5-years prison for R22 smuggling

USA: A 69-year-old man faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to smuggling approximately 309,536kg of the illegal HCFC refrigerant R22 into the United States from China.

Jorge Murrillo pled guilty in federal district court in Miami to conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act (CAA) by importing the refrigerant, which was valued at $1,525,670.

According to court records and a factual statement filed in court, Murrillo and his co-defendant would negotiate with a Chinese manufacturer for the purchase of large quantities of R22 and then import them into South Florida ports to sell on the black market.  

At no point did Murrillo or his companies or associates hold unexpended consumption allowances that would have allowed the legal importation of R22. The offences took place between June and August 2007. 

Murrillo resided outside the United States from the time of his indictment in 2012 until his arrest in Miami in May of this year. Co-defendant, Norberto Guada, was previously convicted, in 2012, of illegally importing R22, and served a federal prison sentence.

Murrillo will be sentenced in September and faces up to five years in prison. 

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