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Saturday, May 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Cosco Busan Pilot Faces New Charges

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The pilot of the Cosco Busan was indicted Tuesday on new federal charges, accused of lying to the Coast Guard about his medications and medical conditions in 2006 and 2007 as part of his annual physical exams.

Joseph Cota already faced charges stemming from the 50,000-gallon oil spill that began when the ship crashed into the San Francisco Bay Bridge on Nov. 7, 2007.

In the superseding indictment, Cota is accused of failing to mention information about his medications, including the dosage, possible side effects and the conditions for which he was taking the drugs were taken, while also certifying that the information he provided on the medical forms was complete and true to the best of his knowledge.

Cota had previously been charged with violating the Clean Water Act and the Migratory Bird Act by causing the death of protected Brown Pelicans and Marbled Murrelets.

If convicted, Cota could be sentenced to 5 years in prison and fined up to $250,000 for each new count, in addition to the 1 year and $100,000 fine he faces for a misdemeanor violation of the CWA and 6 months and $15,000 for the deaths of the birds.

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