Stockton beekeeper charged with smuggling illegal pesticides into U.S. 

The beekeeper resold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of the illegal pesticides across several states.

A Stockton beekeeper faces charges of selling illegal pesticides that were smuggled into the United States. 

U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert announced Thursday that Paulo Perez-Mendoza, 44, faces a two-count indictment from a federal grand jury. 


The big picture: Court documents state that from 2019 to 2024, Perez recruited another person to smuggle illegal pesticides into the country from Mexico. 

  • He had them delivered to his busienss, Perez Generation Ranch, in Stockton. 
  • Perez purchased the Mexican pesticides at 1,000 to 1,500 liters at a time, paying over $475,000 for them. 
  • He then sold them to beekeepers in other states, including Oregon, Washington Georgia and Florida. 

Go deeper: The illegal pesticides involved were primarily Taktic and Bovitraz, which contain the active ingredient amitraz at an emulsifiable concentration of 12.5 percent. 

What we’re watching: Perez is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday. 

  • If convicted of conspiring to receive and sell smuggled pesticides, Perez faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 
  • He also faces one year in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted of the unlawful sale and distribution of pesticides. 
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