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Alabama Man Sentenced to 41 Months in Counterfeit Pesticide Case

Release Date: 04/28/2004
Contact Information: Suzanne Ackerman, (202) 564-7819 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov

(04/28/04) On Apr. 21, William C. Murphy of Glencoe, Ala., was sentenced to serve 41 months in prison and pay a $45,305 fine for his conviction on 17 counts of violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and 11 counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods. Operating under the company name of Sierra Chemical, the defendant sold counterfeit, misbranded, adulterated and/or mislabeled pesticides to municipalities in Alabama and Georgia. The towns applied these products to control mosquitos and the spread of the West Nile Virus. Selling altered, counterfeit or improperly branded and labeled pesticides can present a significant public health risk because the substances may not protect people from disease-carrying insects. The unauthorized substances in counterfeit pesticides can also pose an environmental risk, especially when sprayed over large areas. The case was investigated by the Jacksonville and Atlanta Area Offices of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, EPA's Office of Inspector General, EPA Region 4 Pesticide and Toxics Division and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District f Alabama and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.