Exterminator hit with 3,500 alleged violations

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - An exterminator connected to the recent deaths of two young sisters in Layton allegedly broke pesticide laws more than 3,500 times between April 2009 and February, Utah records show.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - An exterminator connected to the recent deaths of two young sisters in Layton allegedly broke pesticide laws more than 3,500 times between April 2009 and February, Utah records show. That figure is according to violation letters issued by the state pesticide office. In some cases violations were related to poor record keeping. Others were related to the misuse of pesticides. Bountiful-based Bugman Pest and Lawn allegedly used too much Fumitoxin seven times over 10 months and applied it dangerously close to northern Utah homes six times, the records show. In February 4-year-old Rebecca and 15-month-old Rachel Toone died after their yard was treated with Fumitoxin-laced pellets used to kill rodents. Investigators believe toxic phosphine gas from the pellets seeped into the home and sickened the girls. Bugman Pest and Lawn employee Coleman Nocks has been charged with two counts of class A misdemeanor negligent homicide in the Toones' deaths. Layton City Attorney Steve Garside said an investigation found Nocks applied too much pesticide and that it
was too close to the home. Arraignment in his case is set for June 8.

A hearing on the state's civil allegations against Bugman and seven employees that was scheduled for this week has been pushed back to August or September, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food said. The seven are accused of 3,506 violations of the Utah Pesticide Control Act. Each faces possible penalties of up to $27,000. Utah's pesticide office declined to discuss the case. "We're going to be declining any pre-hearing interviews in the interest of due process for the defendants," agriculture department spokesman Larry Lewis told The Salt Lake Tribune. An attorney representing Bugman, Chrystal Mancuso-Smith, also declined to discuss the case with the Tribune. A message left for Bugman by The Associated Press on Monday was not immediately returned.

In the 10 months before the Toone girls were poisoned, Bugman applied pesticides 4,147 times. State officials allege the
company's exterminators used Fumitoxin 53 times and never filed a required pesticide-management plan, which would include
notification of people in the affected area, a description of the location and amount of Fumitoxin to be used, follow-up monitoring and emergency procedures.
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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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