A San Jose man was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail for selling a cockroach and bedbug pesticide he claimed to be safe to use inside homes, Santa Clara County prosecutors said.
According to the district attorney's office, Julio Pino Reyes, 46, sold a dangerous pesticide that he re-bottled and re-sold to people with a claim that it could kill cockroaches and bedbugs. Three people, including two small children, went to a hospital after being exposed to it.
"Pesticides are poisons with a purpose," Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Bud Porter said in a statement. "They should not be sold out of the back of a pickup truck."
Exposure to the pesticide can cause nausea, shaking, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and confusion.
The powder was sold at flea markets, through Facebook and OfferUp ads, in addition to print ads in a Spanish-language magazine. Prosecutors said that tests showed a high concentration of acephate, which isn't approved for in-door residential use.
The Santa Clara County Division of Agriculture alerted the district attorney's office to the sale of the powder.
In addition to the jail sentence, Reyes was also placed on three years' probation, ordered to pay $9,000 in lab costs and $4,000 in victim restitution.
Anyone with questions about the safe use of pesticides is asked to call the California Department of Pesticide Regulation at (916) 445-4300 or can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.