(STL.News) – An Indiana man who distributed unregistered pesticides to the tenants and managers of an apartment building he owned has pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
Cai Feng Yang, aka Kevin Yang, 41, of La Porte, Indiana, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge John E. Martin in the Northern District of Indiana. Sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 27, 2020.
According to court records, during trips to China in September 2015 and January 2016, Yang purchased multiple boxes of unregistered pesticides labeled “cockroach killer bait” and “cockroach gum bait,” as well as several small unlabeled bottles of liquid pesticide containing the active ingredient dichlorvos. Yang transported these pesticides to the United States in his checked luggage with the intent to use them in his La Porte apartment buildings to exterminate cockroaches and bed bugs. None of these pesticides were registered with the EPA as required by FIFRA. For that reason, Yang was obligated to submit a Notice of Arrival (NoA) prior to importing these products into the United States, which he failed to do. He also failed to declare this merchandise to Customs upon his return to the United States.
After returning from China, Yang distributed the vials of granular cockroach killer bait and the syringes of gelatinous cockroach gum bait to tenants renting apartments at 701 Maple St. and 606 Tipton Street. Yang also provided his part-time assistant building managers at 701 Maple Street an unlabeled bottle of pesticide containing dichlorvos to be applied in apartments to kill bed bugs. On several occasions, Yang applied the liquid pesticide in tenants’ apartments himself.
This case was investigated by the EPA-Criminal Investigation Division with assistance from the Office of Indiana State Chemist.
Trial Counsel R.J. Powers of the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Crimes Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Toi Denise Houston, Northern District of Indiana and Regional Criminal Enforcement Counsel David Mucha are prosecuting the case.