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U.S. V. Individual A & U.S. V. Individual B

*/ A crop dusters treats a field with pesticides. Courtesy of FWS.

An Environmental Protection Agency pesticides inspector wears a protective mask and apron as he draws a bulk sample of toxic liquid (methyl parathion) from a container during a routine inspection at a chemical company, Greenville, Mississippi 03/1974 Source: National Archives.These cases arose out of the defendants’ unlawful use of the pesticide methyl parathion in residential homes, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  Neither defendant was licensed to perform any commercial pesticide applications inside residences or businesses.  The defendants’ use of a pesticide inside homes that was designed and intended for use on crops resulted in widespread evacuation of homes and businesses and clean-up costs in excess of $70 million.

The cases were initially were charged in one indictment, but subsequently were severed by the court and tried separately.   In May 1997, individual A was convicted on 48 FIFRA counts, including misapplication of a restricted use pesticide, use of a pesticide in a manner that is inconsistent with its labeling, and distribution of a restricted use pesticide for use contrary to its registration.  He was sentenced to one year for each count (48 years), of which he spent six years and six months in actual confinement. His conviction and sentence was affirmed in August 2000. In March 1997, individual B was convicted of 21 FIFRA counts. He was also sentenced to one year for each count (21 years), and ultimately spent five years and three months in actual confinement; his appeal was dismissed in October 1999.

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Updated April 13, 2015

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