OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
AUGUST 20, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEOSHO COMPANY PAYS $200,000 FINE FOR ILLEGALLY DISTRIBUTING PESTICIDES
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Neosho, Mo., company was ordered in federal court today to pay the maximum fine for violating federal statutes that regulate the sale and distribution of pesticides.
Greenleaf, L.L.C., which operated a facility at 13960 Palm Rd., Neosho, was ordered by U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England this afternoon to pay a $200,000 fine, which was paid immediately. Greenleaf, represented in court today by owner Tom Smith, received broken bags and unwanted pesticides from every Wal-Mart store across the country last year then resold the products. Greenleaf had agreed to pay the fine amount under the terms of its plea agreement, which was entered on Nov. 19, 2008.
“This tough penalty holds Greenleaf accountable for its reckless and illegal business practices that threatened both the public and the environment,” Whitworth said. “We take seriously our responsibility to prosecute those who violate federal environmental laws.”
Greenleaf received large amounts of pesticides, rodenticides and other products from a Wal-Mart distribution center in Arkansas, which received them from every other Wal-Mart store across the country, from January 2007 until January 2008. Greenleaf admitted that the firm distributed and sold a large number of the pesticides and rodenticide products after removing or defacing the labeling on the package. The amount of pesticides distributed in this fashion exceeded 2 million pounds.
“Pesticides must be handled safely and legally to make sure the public and the environment are protected,” said Michael Burnett, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in Kansas City. “The fine the company will pay – the maximum under the law – reflects both the seriousness of the crime and the government’s resolve to prosecute those who commit them.”
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides. It is unlawful for any person to detach, alter, deface, or destroy any labeling of products that are regulated by the statute.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robyn L. McKee. It was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at