Former Bridgeport Marina Owner Gets Probation Under Shipwreck Program

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John Magness, 72, was sentenced by Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Federal Court in Bridgeport on Monday, October 25, 2021, to two years probation. Underhill also ordered Magness to pay a fine of $ 45,000 and perform 50 hours of community service.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

BRIDGEPORT – The former owner of a local marina has been sentenced to probation and a hefty fine for scuttling several sailboats and motorboats in the Long Island Strait, according to federal prosecutors.

John Magness, 72, former from Southbury who now lives in Bristol, Maine, was sentenced by Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to two years’ probation. Underhill also ordered Magness to pay a fine of $ 45,000 and perform 50 hours of community service.

Magess pleaded guilty on November 2, 2020 to obstructing navigable waters by sinking a ship.

Prosecutors said Magness scuttled boats between Black Rock Harbor and Penfield Reef Lighthouse while he owned the Bluefish Cove Marina.


As they prepared to sell the property in 2018, prosecutors said Magness and Peter Albrecht, who worked at the marina, enlisted Carlos Santos to sink several abandoned ships in the Long Island Strait without a license. Magness agreed to forgive the unpaid feeds from the Santos Wharf in exchange for helping to sink the boats, prosecutors said.

Investigators have identified at least five ships that were scuttled at Magness’s request between October 201 and April 2019.

Albrecht, of Norwalk, and Santos, of Westbrook, have each previously pleaded guilty to the same charge as Magness. They were each sentenced to one year of probation. Albrecht was fined $ 1,000 and Santos was fined $ 500.


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