Southwest Missouri company illegally distributed pesticides

Thursday, November 20, 2008 | 11:38 a.m. CST; updated 11:43 a.m. CST, Thursday, November 20, 2008

SPRINGFIELD — The owner of a southwest Missouri company pleads guilty to federal charges of illegally distributing pesticides.

Tom Smith, owner of Greenleaf LLC in rural Neosho, agreed at a hearing Wednesday to pay a $200,000 fine, the maximum allowed under the law. Prosecutors said Greenleaf distributed more than 2 million pounds of pesticides and rodenticides with altered or removed labels.

U.S. Attorney John Wood in Springfield said Greenleaf was obtaining damaged or returned bags of the products from a Wal-Mart distribution center in Arkansas. Prosecutors also said Wal-Mart paid more than $2.5 million for an environmental cleanup of the Greenleaf site.

Wood's office said Greenleaf was dumping the damaged or returned insecticides into large bins, and selling them primarily to area farmers.


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