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Marina Owner In Fairfield County Sentenced For Scuttling Abandoned Vessels

Boats were scuttled between Black Rock Harbor and the Pennfield Reef Lighthouse in Long Island Sound.
Boats were scuttled between Black Rock Harbor and the Pennfield Reef Lighthouse in Long Island Sound. Photo Credit: Google Maps satellite view

The owner of a Fairfield County marina will avoid time behind bars but was hit with a heavy fine as he was sentenced for abandoning boats in the Long Island Sound.

John Magness, formerly of Southbury in New Haven County, was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $45,000 fine for scuttling several sailboats and motorboats between Black Rock Harbor and the Pennfield Reef Lighthouse in the Long Island Sound.

Magness, who now lives in Bristol, Maine, was the owner of the Bluefish Cove Marina in Bridgeport.

Acting US Attorney Leonard Boyle said that while he was preparing to sell the property in 2018, Magness and Peter Albrecht, who worked at the marina, engaged Carlos Santos to sink several abandoned vessels in the Long Island Sound without a permit.

As part of the scheme, Magness agreed to forgive Santos’ unpaid dockage fees in exchange for his help sinking the vessels.

During the investigation, at least five vessels were uncovered after being scuttled at Magness’ request between October 2018 and April 2019.

In November last year, Magness pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of navigable waters by sinking a vessel. 

Albrecht, of Norwalk in Fairfield County, and Santos, of Westbrook in Middlesex County, each previously pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced to a one-year term of probation.  Albrecht was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and Santos was ordered to pay a $500 fine.

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