Monday, May 23, 2005
Four Filipino Sailors who cooperated with an investigation into illegal cargo ship dumping off the Port of Long Beach have been awarded $250,000, officials said. Jonathan Sanchez, Jimmy Piamonte, Florencio Tolentino and Richard Santillan received their rewards Friday during a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, officials with the U.S. Justice Department said. The men told the U.S. Coast Guard last fall that a bypass had been put on a device that separated oil from wastewater on the 600-foot-long cargo ship Katerina. Thirteen sailors from the ship were kept in the United States for months in order to serve as material witnesses against the Greek firm DST Shipping Co. and the ship's captain, chief engineer and second engineer. Those three pleaded guilty to federal charges and the shipping line was fined $1 million. Sanchez, Piamonte and Tolentino received $75,000, and Santillan received $25,000.