Motel owner sentenced in pesticide case

MICHIGAN CITY — A man who used an illegal pesticide to eliminate bed bugs at his Michigan City motel is serving most of his one-year sentence on probation.

Dipen Patel, 35, of Dyer, was given the maximum one-year sentence for unlawful use of pesticides, a Class A misdemeanor.

Sixty days of that sentence rendered March 21 at U.S District Court in Hammond was ordered served on home detention or electronic monitoring.

The balance is being served on probation, according to court records.

The sentence was after the part-owner of Knights Inn admitted to the use of dichlorvos at the motel near the Interstate 94/U.S 421 interchange.

According to court documents, Patel returned from India with the chemical in his luggage and for close to a year, starting in 2014, supplied the illegal pesticide to housekeeping staff to use in guest rooms.

He instructed the employees how to mix the chemical with water and apply it to carpeting, bedding and mattresses for killing bed bugs.

Twenty-nine rooms at Knights Inn, along with a similar number at a Super 8 motel he owns in Howe, tested positive for the chemical during a state inspection in February 2015.

The rooms were condemned until they were decontaminated at his own expense, court records show.

According to the U.S attorney’s office, dichlorvos is not registered with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, something that’s required to use for any chemical.

Source: NWI Times