PLANO — A 61-year-old Quinlan, Texas man, who had originally received a probated sentence for negligently releasing an extremely hazardous substance into the air, has been sentenced to three months in prison to be followed by three months of home confinement, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly C. Priest-Johnson imposed the sentence Nov. 15, 2016, on William “Bill” Lafon Musgrove, 61, after finding that Musgrove had violated the conditions of his probation by returning to the metal recovery business without the proper equipment or a permit. Musgrove originally pleaded guilty on Aug. 7, 2013 to the offense of negligent release of an extremely hazardous substance. On June 21, 2013, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas filed an information charging Musgrove with the offense. Musgrove admitted that in June of 2011, as the vice president and operations manager of Industrial Precious Metals Recovery Incorporated (IPMR), in Royse City, Texas, he allowed their metal recovery process to release nitrogen oxides, or “NOx” into the ambient air at ground level, through an open doorway, instead of utilizing the company’s air scrubber which was broken at the time. Musgrove admitted that he should have known that releasing NOx in that manner would place people in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. Fortunately, no actual injuries occurred.
Federal environmental regulations characterize nitrogen oxides as an “extremely hazardous substance.” At the time, the IPMR facility in Royse City was adjacent to other commercial facilities with employees that were present during the NOx emissions. The facility has since closed.
This case was investigated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigations Division, Region VI, Dallas, Texas, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Environmental Crimes Unit and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.