DETROIT — A West Bloomfield, Mich., man received a $5,000 fine for delivering a false document while selling R-22 to an undercover agent, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. Joining McQuade in the announcement was Randall Ashe, the special agent in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) criminal enforcement program in Michigan.

Douglas Vincent Mertz was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood. Mertz pleaded guilty to the charge on Nov. 9, 2011. In addition to the fine, Mertz was sentenced to one year probation and restitution up to $750.

In August and September of 2009, Mertz advertised the sale of R-22 on Craigslist with postings such as, “If you cannot get R-22 on your own, no EPA card or license, we can do business,” and, “I have virgin 30 lb jugs of R-22 that I will sell to anyone who can’t otherwise get one for EPA or license reasons and the distributors deny you.” Mertz, who himself was EPA certified, then obtained 10 containers of R-22 refrigerant and sold them to a buyer was neither certified nor otherwise legally allowed to purchase R-22. The buyer was in fact an undercover federal agent. To conceal the illegal sale, Mertz prepared a document that falsely identified the buyer as an employee of his business.

As part of his sentence, Mertz was required to surrender his EPA certification.

Mertz’s accomplice, Wasim Ibrahim Bony, was sentenced on April 19, 2012. Bony, who pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Mertz, was sentenced to pay a $1,500 criminal fine, and ordered to pay up to $750 in restitution.

Publication date: 05/07/2012