HOUSTON (Reuters) - A former BP Plc engineer was arrested and charged on Tuesday with intentionally destroying evidence related to how much oil was spilling from the company's broken well in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, the U.S. Justice Department said.
Kurt Mix, 50, was accused of deleting text messages between himself and a supervisor that included "sensitive internal BP information collected in real-time" as BP tried to stop the leak, the Justice Department said.
During his first court appearance in Houston on Tuesday, he told U.S. Magistrate Stephen Smith in a firm voice that he understood the charges against him.
Mix, of Katy, Texas, about 25 miles west of Houston, was charged with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting records related to the amount of oil flowing from the Macondo well after the blowout. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.