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FISCAL YEAR: 2012
1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Ji Hui Yang
  New York  CR-00-000
2. DEFENDANT: Bi Ying Jiang
  New York  CR-00-000
3. DEFENDANT: Cheng Yan Huang
  New York  CR-00-000
4. DEFENDANT: Individual Defendant
  New York  CR-00-000
5. DEFENDANT: Individual Defendant #2
  New York  CR-00-000
6. DEFENDANT: Individual Defendant #3
  New York  CR-00-000
7. DEFENDANT: Individual Defendant #4
  New York  CR-00-000
8. DEFENDANT: Jia Ping Chen
  New York  CR-00-000
9. DEFENDANT: Jin Rong Jiang
  New York  CR-00-000
10. DEFENDANT: Jinwen Wang
  New York  CR-00-000
11. DEFENDANT: Liu Wensheng
  New York  CR-00-000
12. DEFENDANT: Xiu Hua Lin
  New York  CR-00-000


The defendants were involved in sale of unregistered/illegal pesticides in Washington Heights, Corona and Flushing-Queens. It was further disclosed that at least one individual became profoundly ill from ingesting a small amount of an unregistered/illegal pesticide, a rodenticide identified as the "Cat be Unemployed" containing Brodifacoum that was purchased from a store or street vendor in Chinatown, New York City.

September 14, 2011
The defendants were charged with one count of violating state environmental regulations.

October 26, 2011
Xiu Hua Lin was sentenced to pay $1,300 in restitution for disposal costs.

Individual defendant's charges were dismissed.

Individual Defendant #2 had the charges dismissed.

Individual Defendant #4 was sentenced with conditional discharge after paying restitution in the amount of $1,000.

January 11, 2012
Yang and Jiang were sentenced to conditional discharge, to pay $1,500 in restitution to the NYSDEC for disposal costs.

Yao Liu was sentenced to pay $1,500 in restitution to the victims of his crime.
February 3, 2012
Jia Ping Chen pled guilty.

May 10, 2012
Jinwen Wang was sentenced to pay $5,000 in restitution.

Liu Wensheng was sentenced to pay $3,000 in restitution.

May 14, 2012
Cheng Yan Huang pled guilty.


Press Release
Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2012

Manhattan Man Pleads Guilty In Federal Court To Distributing And Selling Illegal Pesticides In Chinatown

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that CHENG YAN HUANG, the owner of a store in the Chinatown area of Manhattan, pled guilty today in Manhattan federal court to distributing and selling at least 2,010 packages of unregistered and unauthorized pesticides. HUANG was arrested and charged in September 2011 as part of a multi-agency illegal pesticides crackdown that resulted in 12 arrests and the seizure of thousands of packages of unregistered and misbranded pesticides that were sold out of multiple locations in Manhattan. The pesticides were particularly dangerous because their packaging and appearance were deceptive and could have led them to being mistaken for cookies or cough medicine, and in one case, actually did. They were not registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and were missing required label warnings, so consumers had no way of knowing how dangerous the products were or how best to protect themselves from harmful exposure. Federal criminal charges were filed against HUANG and delivery driver, Jai Ping Chen, who pled guilty in February 2012. State criminal charges were filed against the 10 other individuals arrested. HUANG pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Cheng Yan Huang literally peddled poison for profit, exposing untold numbers of people to extremely toxic chemicals in the process. The EPA’s rules governing the sale and distribution of pesticides are intended to protect the public and we will prosecute and punish those who jeopardize public safety for their own personal gain.”

According to the Complaints and Informations filed in Manhattan federal court:

In December 2010, an individual (the “Individual”) became gravely ill after ingesting a pesticide she mistook for medicine. Later investigation revealed that the pesticide, a small vial of blue-green liquid labeled primarily in Chinese with the words “The Cat Be Unemployed,” was being sold illegally in the Chinatown section of Manhattan. The pesticide was not registered by the EPA nor was it properly labeled, as required by both state and federal law. The investigation further revealed that the product contained almost 61 times the amount of brodifacoum – a rodenticide – than is allowed by the EPA. Additionally, brodifacoum is not approved for direct consumer use; it may only be used by licensed professionals. In response to the poisoning, various law enforcement agencies began a joint undercover investigation of the illegal sale of toxic pesticides in and around New York City. The multi-agency criminal investigation revealed at least a dozen unregistered and misbranded pesticide products, some with extremely high levels of toxicity, being sold by more than a dozen vendors in and around Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Between July and August 2011, HUANG and Chen distributed and sold more than 4,500 individual packages of unregistered and misbranded pesticide products to undercover agents. Many of the packages misrepresented the amount of the chemical the pesticide contained, none contained the required ingredient statement, and none had been approved by the EPA for commercial sale. The products provided to undercover agents by HUANG and Chen contained high levels of Brofidacoum and Fipronil, another active ingredient in insecticides, and were sold under various names, including “Fuzhou Control Termite Company – Cockroachkiller Bait” and “Mie Zhang Qing.” HUANG illegally sold the pesticides at his store in Chinatown, and Chen made multiple deliveries of pesticides to at least two locations in Manhattan, including HUANG’s store. During one meeting, HUANG told undercover agents he could provide as many packages of pesticides as they wanted. During a search of HUANG’s store on September 14, 2011, agents found over 800 packages of unregistered pesticides. That same day, agents also found thousands of packages of pesticides in Chen’s home.

* * *

HUANG, 56, of New York, New York, faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison, and a maximum fine of $25,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Gorenstein on August 14, 2012, at 10:30 a.m.

Chen, 43, of Flushing, New York, faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison, and a maximum fine of $25,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck on June 11, 2012, at 2:00 p.m.

Mr. Bharara thanked the District Attorney's Office for New York County, the EPA, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the United States Postal Inspection Service for their outstanding work in this investigation.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Janis M. Echenberg is in charge of the prosecutions.

July 18, 2012
Bi Ying Jiang and Xiu Hua Lin pled guilty to the charges and were sentenced as follows:
  • Jiang was ordered to pay a $5,000 state fine.
  • Lin was ordered to pay a state fine in the amount of $4,000.

August 8, 2012
Jia Ping Chen was sentenced to 12 months probation, ordered to pay a $50 special assessment, $1,200 in restitution for disposal costs to the NYSDEC, and a $3,000 federal fine.

September 12, 2012
Cheng Yan Huang was sentenced to 12 months probation, ordered to pay a $25 special assessment and $1,200 in restitution to the NYSDEC for disposal costs.


Press Release
Southern District of New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2012

Manhattan Man Sentenced In Federal Court For Selling And Distributing Illegal Pesticides

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that CHENG YAN HUANG, the owner of a store in the Chinatown section of Manhattan, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to time served for distributing and selling at least 2,010 packages of unregistered and unauthorized pesticides. He was also ordered to pay $1,200 toward the cost of disposal of the unregistered and unauthorized pesticides he sold and that were seized from his store. Huang pled guilty on May 14, 2012 to one count of distributing and selling the pesticides before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein, who also imposed today's sentence. On August 8, 2012, Huang’s co-defendant, delivery driver Jai Ping Chen, was sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck to 200 hours of community service and a $3,000 fine for distributing and selling at least 4,510 packages of unregistered and unauthorized pesticides.

According to the Complaints and Informations filed in Manhattan federal court:

HUANG and Chen were arrested and charged in September 2011 as part of a multi-agency illegal pesticides crackdown that resulted in 12 arrests, and the seizure of thousands of packages of unregistered and misbranded pesticides that were sold out of multiple locations in Manhattan. The pesticides were particularly dangerous because their packaging and appearance could lead them to be mistaken for cookies or cough medicine. They were not registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and were missing required label warnings, so consumers had no way of knowing how dangerous the products were, or how best to protect themselves from harmful exposure.

In December 2010, an individual became gravely ill after ingesting a pesticide she mistook for medicine. Later investigation revealed that the pesticide, a small vial of blue-green liquid labeled primarily in Chinese with the words “The Cat Be Unemployed,” was being sold illegally in the Chinatown section of Manhattan. The pesticide was not registered by the EPA nor was it properly labeled, as required by both state and federal law. The investigation further revealed that the product contained almost 61 times the EPA authorized amount of brodifacoum – a rodenticide that is not approved for direct consumer use, and may only be used by licensed professionals. In response to the poisoning, various law enforcement agencies began a joint undercover investigation of the illegal sale of toxic pesticides in and around New York City. The multi-agency criminal investigation revealed at least one dozen unregistered and misbranded pesticide products – some with extremely high levels of toxicity – being sold by more than a dozen vendors in and around Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Between July and August 2011, HUANG and Chen distributed and sold more than 4,500 individual packages of unregistered and misbranded pesticide products to undercover agents. Many of the pesticide packages they sold misrepresented the amount of the chemical the pesticide contained, none contained the required ingredient statement, and none had been approved by the EPA for commercial sale. The products provided to undercover agents by HUANG and Chen contained high levels of Bromadiolone (similar in content and use restrictions to Brodifacoum), and nearly five times the EPA authorized percentage of Fipronil, another active ingredient in insecticides. The products were sold under various names, including “Fuzhou Control Termite Company – Cockroachkiller Bait. HUANG sold the pesticides at his store in Chinatown, and Chen made multiple deliveries of pesticides to at least two locations in Manhattan, including HUANG’s store. During one meeting, HUANG told undercover agents he could provide as many packages of pesticides as they wanted. During a search of HUANG’s store on September 14, 2011, agents found over 800 packages of unregistered pesticides. That same day, agents also found thousands of packages of pesticides in Chen’s home.

* * * In addition to payment for the clean-up costs, Judge Gorenstein also ordered HUANG, 56, of New York, New York, to pay a $25 special assessment fee.

Ten defendants charged at the state level – all owners or workers at small stores or stalls in and around the East Broadway Mall – have also pled guilty. They were all sentenced to conditional discharges and ordered to pay restitution or fines ranging from $1,500 to $5,000.

Mr. Bharara praised the work of the District Attorney's Office for New York County, the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Janis M. Echenberg is in charge of the prosecution.

STATUTE:
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
  • State (STATE)

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