Falcon's nest: bridge repair crew workers charged with disturbing baby peregrines

Two men formerly working on the Girard Point Bridge could face significant prison terms for performing sanding and grinding in a "restricted zone" of the bridge in proximity to a peregrine falcon's nest, federal prosecutors announced.

Peregrine Falcon. Credit: Wikimedia Commons Peregrine Falcon. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

Two men formerly working on the Girard Point Bridge could face significant prison terms for performing sanding and grinding in a "restricted zone" of the bridge in proximity to a peregrine falcon's nest, federal prosecutors announced.

 

Nikolaos Frangos, 38, and George Capuzello, 42, both of Campbell, Ohio, and Mikhail Zubialevich, 41, of Princeton, New Jersey, a.k.a. "Russian Mike" were charged in an indictment unsealed today with conspiracy for allegedly concealing their behavior around the peregrine's nest.

 

The three men reportedly were working for a company known as the Liberty-Alpha Joint Venture, which reportedly had a $70 million contract from PennDOT to fix up the Girard Point Bridge. and under agreement not to work near the falcon's nest during nesting season.

 

However, on June 4, 2011, prosecutors say that Capuzello directed Zubialevich and another worked to perform grinding and sanding within the "restricted zone" in proximity to the nest.

This activity caused the falcons to abandon the nest, according to prosecutors.

The indictment charges that the three men conspired to conceal the fact that one of their workers was an illegal immigrant and threatened another individual to not speak with federal authorities.

Frangos faces 35 years, Capuzello faces up to 40 years, and Zubialevich faces up to 20 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.

 
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