A San Jose man who sold “dangerous cockroach powder” in Los Banos and other area cities was sentenced to six months in prison, the state Department of Pesticide Regulation announced Tuesday.
Julio Pino Reyes, 46, was convicted on May 30 of three felony charges, including “dishonest dealing of a misbranded pesticide,” according to a news release. He was sentenced by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Arthur Bocanegra.
At least three people, including two small children, went to the hospital after exposure to the powder, officials said.
The powder had been advertised in Spanish-language magazines, on social media platforms including Facebook, and on business cards that were left on doorsteps under the names of “El Mejor Remedio” or “El Mejor Polvo,” the Merced County District Attorney’s Office has said.
They should not be sold out of the back of a pickup truck. If it kills cockroaches, it should have a warning label and a list of ingredients.
Bud Porter, a Santa Clara County prosecutor, on pesticides
Prosecutors said the powder is believed to have been sold at the flea market at the Los Banos fairgrounds. Testing showed a high concentration of Acephate, a pesticide that is not approved for indoor residential use.
Exposure can cause nausea, shaking, dizziness, rapid heart rate and confusion, officials said. Pesticides are a controlled poison, prosecutor Bud Porter noted.
“They should not be sold out of the back of a pickup truck,” he said in a news release. “If it kills cockroaches, it should have a warning label and a list of ingredients.”
Reyes was also placed on probation for three years and ordered to pay $9,000 in laboratory costs and more than $4,000 in victim restitution, officials said.