Las Vegas contractors imprisoned for reckless asbestos release during warehouse renovation

October 25, 2023

(United States)
Two Las Vegas contractors have been sentenced to six months in prison each for releasing asbestos while renovating a facility, according to federal prosecutors.

Rene Morales and Hector Vasquez received their sentences in federal court for violating the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Nevada said in a news release.

They had pleaded guilty earlier this year to releasing toxic asbestos fibers during renovation work on a Las Vegas warehouse that was being turned into a marijuana facility.

Prosecutors alleged Morales and Vasquez had workers remove drywall and ceiling texture that they should have known contained asbestos, and they did not use any abatement measures.

This put the workers and community in danger of death or serious injury due to the release of the fibers, prosecutors argued.

Morales and Vasquez also lied to investigators about their involvement and tried to cover up what happened by claiming bags marked “asbestos” were for training, rather than disposal.

U.S. Attorney Jason Frierson said: “Failure to comply with federally-mandated protocols for asbestos is a serious offense with serious consequences in the District of Nevada. These crimes endanger the lives of workers, tenants, and the community at large.”

This is valid as of 23rd October 2023.

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