Kurt Mix, a former BP engineer arrested Tuesday on charges of destroying evidence in the BP Deepwater Horizon investigation, was released on bail hours later.
He was the first person arrested and charged criminally following the 2010 oil spill.
The Department of Justice said earlier Tuesday the investigation task force will continue and will hold accountable those who violated the law in connection with the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
Mix, 50, from Katy, Texas, is accused of deleting several hundred text messages that suggested the flow of oil from the ruptured Macondo well was much larger than originally thought at the time BP and other responders tried capping oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.
Mix was released on $100,000 bail, the Associated Press reported.
The charges stem from the April 20, 2010, explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore production platform that killed 11 workers and released roughly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
If convicted, Mix faces as much as 20 years in prison and upwards of $250,000 in fines for each count.?