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Alabama Man Pleads Guilty to 28 Counts in Pesticide Case

Release Date: 01/18/2004
Contact Information: Suzanne Ackerman, (202) 564-7819 /

(01/18/04) William C. Murphy of Glencoe, Ala., pled guilty on Jan. 5 to 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 numerous municipalities in Alabama and Georgia. The municipalities used them to control mosquitos and the spread of the West Nile Virus. Selling altered, counterfeit or improperly branded or labeled pesticides to cities to control mosquitoes and other insects can present a significant public health and environmental risk, either through contamination due to the unregulated application of potentially harmful chemicals, or by failing to protect the public from the diseases carried by the insects, such as West Nile Virus. The case was investigated by the Jacksonville and Atlanta Area Offices of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI the EPA Office of Inspector General, the EPA Region 4 Pesticide and Toxics Division and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.