Agent who failed to inspect enough ships faces prison time
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — A former federal agent is facing jail time in Virginia after failing to inspect international cargo ships for invasive species and diseases and lying about it.
The Virginian-Pilot reported Monday that Carl James Jr. will be sentenced in federal court in January. He pleaded guilty last week to making a false statement on a government form.
James had worked for U.S. Customs and Border Protection at a terminal for the Port of Virginia in Portsmouth. Prosecutors said the 38-year-old told his bosses that he’d inspected more than 260 ships as they traveled through. Prosecutors said he inspected about 35 ships.
He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
James’ attorney, Nicholas Renninger, said James had been overwhelmed with his work duties and accepts responsibility.
Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com