California Man Charged With “Smuggling Greenhouse Gases”

There’s now apparently a black market for ways to recharge refrigerant systems

San Diego man first in US charged with smuggling greenhouse gases

A San Diego man has been arrested and charged with smuggling potent greenhouse gases from Mexico, marking the first prosecution of its kind in the United States, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Southern California announced Monday.

Michael Hart, 58, was arrested earlier Monday and charged with smuggling hydrofluorocarbons, a “highly potent greenhouse gas” also known as HFCs, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The indictment added that Hart then sold the HFCs for profit on various online marketplaces.

Hart violated federal regulations set in 2020 that ban the importation of HFCs, U.S. Attorney’s Office said. HFCs are a group of powerful, synthetic gases that are primarily used in refrigerators and air conditioners, according to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. (snip)

“Today is a significant milestone for our country,” U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath said in a statement. “This is the first time the Department of Justice is prosecuting someone for illegally importing greenhouse gases, and it will not be the last. We are using every means possible to protect our planet from the harm caused by toxic pollutants, including bringing criminal charges.”

Seriously? Dude was just trying to help out people who needed these for fridges and AC, because the government has gone batshit cult insane.

A federal indictment alleges that Hart purchased refrigerants in Mexico and smuggled them into the United States in his vehicle. The refrigerants were concealed under a tarp and tools.

Hart then posted the refrigerants for sale on Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp and other e-commerce websites, according to the indictment. In addition to greenhouse gases, the indictment alleges that Hart imported HCFC-22, an ozone-depleting substance regulated under the Clean Air Act.

He’s a super dangerous person, you know. Unlike all the unvetted illegal aliens.

Hart made his first appearance in federal court on Monday afternoon and pleaded not guilty, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He faces charges of conspiracy, importation contrary to law and sale of merchandise imported contrary to law.

Conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Hart also faces a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine on his other charges. His next hearing is scheduled for March 25.

This is nuts.

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6 Responses to “California Man Charged With “Smuggling Greenhouse Gases””

  1. Dana says:

    He was smuggling more efficient and effective refrigerants; if that weren’t the case, there’d be no market for them, because there are legal refrigerants in the United States.

    • Professor Hale says:

      R-22 has become tremendously more expensive due to impacts of regulation ($10 per pound up to $200 per pound, with a typical 3 ton residential system needing 10 pounds). Most users opt to replace their entire systems to avoid the cost of topping off with R-22. I faced this problem myself about 5 years ago and found, thanks to google, that R-407c is a cheap, unregulated drop-in replacement for R-22. it worked just fine for several more years until I eventually replaced the whole system with a more modern one using R-410.

      Remember, R-22 was NOT regulated because it was a greenhouse gas. It was regulated because of the hole in the Ozone and everyone was going to get skin cancer and die. That didn’t happen and everyone forgot about it, but R-22 is still prohibited to be manufactured world wide. Instead more expensive, less efficient, and more toxic chemicals have to be used for HVAC and refrigerators.

      There was never any good reason to smuggle this in. There are still plenty of systems in the USA that contain this gas and can be scavanged for free (again, illegal to try it because OZONE!!!!).

  2. david7134 says:

    These gases are way heavier than air and have no influence.

  3. SD says:

    She lived through Mao’s China and now says America Is following in China’s footsteps. Here’s How We Stop It. – Video

  4. drowningpuppies says:

    Seriously stupid.
    Anyway you look at it.
    Glad we got this “criminal” off the streets.
    Would have been different if the man was named “Jose”.

  5. Jl says:

    Illegals smuggling fentanyl ok, ghg, no

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