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PA TWO TENNESSEE MEN ARRESTED ON PESTICIDE CHARGES
Release Date: 02/20/98
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1998
TWO TENNESSEE MEN ARRESTED ON PESTICIDE CHARGES
On Feb. 13, Robert E. Kelly, Jr., and Robert E. Kelly, III, who operate Kelly Spraying Service in Memphis, Tenn., were arrested on a 42-count federal indictment which alleges that they illegally applied the pesticide methyl parathion inside homes. The indictment was brought in U.S. District for the Western District of Tennessee in Memphis. The charges allege that Robert Kelly, Jr. purchased at least 280 gallons of the restricted-use pesticide methyl parathion in Mississippi between 1992 and 1996. Methyl parathion is licensed for outdoor agricultural use only where it degrades rapidly when exposed to sunlight. When used indoors, the toxic pesticide can stay potent for periods of up to two years. Human exposure to sufficient quantities of methyl parathion can produce headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, difficulty breathing, coma and death. Both defendants are alleged to have sprayed this pesticide in homes without disclosing its nature and potential health impacts to customers. Both defendants face maximum penalties of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 on each count. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.