Men Plead Guilty to Scuttling Sailboats and Motor Boats in Long Island Sound

Three men pleaded guilty this week to a federal charge related to the scuttling of several sailboats and motor boats between the Black Rock Harbor and the Pennfield Reef Lighthouse in Long Island Sound.  The trio were John Magness, 71, of Southbury; Peter Albrecht, 70, of Norwalk; and Carlos Santos, 60, of Westbrook,

Magness, pleaded guilty on November 2, and Albrecht and Santos each pleaded guilty on Friday.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Magness was the owner of Bluefish Cove Marina in Bridgeport.  While preparing to sell the property in 2018, Magness and Albrecht, who worked at the marina, engaged Santos to sink several abandoned vessels in the Long Island Sound without a permit.  Magness agreed to forgive Santos’ unpaid dockage fees in exchange for his help sinking the vessels. 

Investigators identified as least five vessels as having been scuttled at Magness’ request between October 2018 and April 2019.

The three defendants each pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of navigable waters by sinking a vessel, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of one year and a fine of up to $100,000.  They are released pending sentencing.

The guilty pleas were announced on Friday by John H. Durham, US Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

This matter is being investigated by the US Coast Guard Investigative Service and prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Lauren Clark.