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S.D.  Indiana  3:10-CR-0033RLY-WGH
2. DEFENDANT: David J. Rudolph
S.D.  Indiana  3:11-CR-0027RLY-WGH
3. DEFENDANT: John K. Rudolph
S.D.  Indiana  3:11-CR-0025RLY-WGH
4. DEFENDANT: Michael Joseph Jochem
S.D.  Indiana  3:11-CR-0026RLY-WGH
In or about mid 2008, numerous dead animals and birds were found in a wooded area adjacent to a residential subdivision located in Jasper, Indiana. The animal toxicology findings by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicated they were poisoned by carbon furan, a chemical component of Furadan.

As a result of the investigation, defendant Mike Jochem admitted he had obtained Furadan and illegally provided it to defendant Ficker. Ficker admitted he used it to kill approximately 25-30 migratory birds that were feeding on his corn corp, and he gave some of the Furadan to two other people, John and David Randolph, who used it to kill animals and migratory birds on their separate farms.

September 15, 2010
Ficker was charged with one count of violating FIFRA {7 U.S.C. 136j(a)(2)(G) - use of a pesticide in a manner inconsistent with labeling} and one count of making false statements, a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001.

Jochem was charged with illegal distribution of Furadan.

David Randolph and John Randolph were each charged with the illegal use of Furadan.
CITATION: 18 U.S.C. 1001, 7 U.S.C. 136j(a)(2)(G)
October 28, 2010

Press Release

Department of Justice
October 28, 2010



INDIANAPOLIS – Michael Jochem, 42, of Ferdinand, as well as David Rudolph, 59, and John Rudolph, 70, both of Jasper, pled guilty and were sentenced yesterday by United States District Court Magistrate Judge William Hussmann for the illegal use of an acutely toxic pesticide, announced Josh J. Minkler, First Assistant United States Attorney. This followed an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Each man was sentenced to pay a $5,000 fine, while Jochem was also sentenced to a six month term of probation.

In June 2008, an Indiana Conservation Officer (“ICO”) discovered several dead birds and mammals in the area of a corn field maintained by Paul Ficker. The ICO found the dead animals in a characteristic “ring of death” that occurs around poisonings, with a ring of animals extending around an area of the poisoning, and then out from that area following up the food chain. The animal carcasses were recovered by the ICO and submitted for testing for cause of death.

Each of the several carcasses submitted was found to have been killed by carbofuran, a component of Furadan, a powerful pesticide used in the area that is commonly sold as a concentrate and is regulated by federal law due to its extreme toxicity. The toxicity of concentrated Furadan is such that a single drop can cause death to even large mammals, and it is extremely hazardous to wildlife and humans.

After receiving the report that the animals had been killed by carbofuran, an investigation was launched in 2009 to determine whom had misused the chemical. Investigators ultimately determined that Jochem, who was a licensed applicator of Furadan, had illegally provided some of the concentrated pesticide to Paul Ficker, who then used it to kill wildlife that was interfering with his corn crop. Ficker was convicted for the illegal use of an acutely toxic pesticide and for making false statements earlier this year, and sentenced to a two year term of probation and a $10,000 fine. As the investigation continued, investigators further discovered that Ficker had provided some of the Furadan concentrate to John Rudolph, who used the concentrate to kill pest animals on his property. John Rudolph then provided some Furadan to his brother, David Rudolph, who did the same on his property.

In distinguishing Jochem’s sentence of six months probation – in addition to the $5000 fines both he and the Rudolphs were ordered to pay – Magistrate Judge Hussmann noted that Jochem had a special duty as a licensed and certified applicator of pesticides to ensure that such dangerous materials were not misused.

“The misuse of dangerous, acutely toxic chemicals is threat both to wildlife and to those citizens who may be exposed,” said A. Brant Cook, the Assistant United States Attorney who prosecuted the cases. “It is critically important that such hazardous materials be tightly controlled and accounted for.”

December 6, 2010
Ficker pled guilty to both counts.

January 18, 2011
Ficker was sentenced to 24 months probation and ordered to pay a $10,000 federal fine.
CITATION: 7 U.S.C. 136j(a)(2)(F)
October 27, 2011
Jochem, John K. Rudolph and David J. Rudolph were each sentenced to pay a $5,000 fine. Jochem was also sentenced to 6 months probation.
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
  • Title 18 U.S. Criminal Code (TITLE 18)

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