Examples of what Reyes was selling
SANTA CLARA– The District Attorney’s Office has charged a San Jose man with making and selling an illegal and dangerous powder that he advertised as a remedy to kill cockroaches, bedbugs, and other insects.
According to Deputy District Attorney Bud Porter,”Testing showed that powder contained high levels of a pesticide that can be harmful to humans and animals and should never be used inside a home.”
45-year-old Julio Pino Reyes was charged with eight felony counts that include falsely advertising the powder pesticide with labels that said it was non-toxic and safe for use around people and pets.
“Packaging and selling pesticides under-the-radar puts people and their pets directly in harm’s way,” prosecutor Bud Porter said.
Porter said, “The ‘cockroach powder’ was advertised on Facebook, in the Spanish-language magazine El Avisador, and on business cards left on doorsteps.” The roach powder, advertised as “El Mejor Remedio” or “El Mejor Polvo” is not sold in California stores and is considered an illegal pesticide by the California Environmental Department of Pesticide Regulation.
Investigator’s working with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office had the powder tested. The powder was found to have high levels of Acephate. Acephate can be absorbed by humans and animals. It is possible to ingest, breathe in, or absorb the powder through the skin.
According to Porter, “Exposure can overstimulate the nervous system, causing nausea, shaking, dizziness, confusion, and – at very high exposures – severe effects on human health.”
Anyone holding a container of this mislabeled pesticide should discontinue its use and securely dispose of it.
Reyes faces jail time and/or fines for falsely selling the poison.
Anyone with information that may help investigators locate possible victims who purchased the powder is urged to call the District Attorney’s Office Environmental Protection Unit at (408) 792-2794.