FDACS Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement Arrests Person Conducting Unauthorized Pest Control Activity / Press Releases 2021 / Press Releases / News & Events / Home


Tallahassee, Florida – Last week, investigators from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Farm Law Enforcement Office (OALE) arrested Jose Juan Mendoza, who was running an unlicensed pest control business for a real estate agent in Hillsborough County, Florida.

“Illegal and unauthorized pest control operations are not only fraudulent, but also threaten the well-being of unsuspecting victims. I am grateful to our investigators in our Agricultural Environmental Services and Farm Law Enforcement Division for working together to quell this bad actor, sending the message that such illegal and dangerous activity will not be allowed ” , Commissioner Nikki Fried noted. “We encourage all consumers to research pest control operators before hiring and immediately report any concerns to our department. Know that we are here to uphold the law and protect Floridians from fraud and pest control violations. “

Chronology and general information:

During the FDACS Agricultural Environmental Services Division (AES) investigation and administrative action against Jose Juan Mendoza, AES referred the suspect to OALE for potential criminal activity, as Mendoza allegedly carried out inspections and created a fictitious wood destruction organization (WDO) inspection reports, falsely declaring homes free from termite infestation. These WDO inspection reports were then used by unsuspecting home buyers to obtain loans from financial institutions.

Results: After a thorough investigation, OALE criminal investigators determined that Mendoza used fraudulent business license numbers and expired ID card numbers to make his fraud scheme appear legitimate. When confronted with the findings of the investigation, Mendoza admitted that he had neither a pest control license nor an insurance bond, and had intentionally carried out pest control activities without a license. Mendoza also admitted to producing fraudulent WDO inspection reports.

Charges: On October 14, 2021, OALE criminal investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Mendoza. OALE located and arrested Mendoza without incident and incarcerated him in Hillsborough County Jail on the following counts: violation of section 817.034 (4) (A) 1, Florida statutes, ploy of fraud (over $ 50,000.00), first degree felony, 1 count; Violation of Section 831.01, Florida Statutes, forgery, third degree felony, 2 counts; Violation of Section 831.02, Florida Statutes, Pronunciation, Third Degree Crime, 2 counts; and Violation of Section 482.191 (1), Florida Statutes, illegal performance or advertising for pest control services, second degree misdemeanor, 3 counts. Mendoza’s bail has been set at $ 19,750 and the date for Mendoza’s court appearance will be set by the Hillsborough County Court.

Arrest:
José Juan Mendoza
Date of birth: 06/18/1956
Thonotosassa, Florida

Advice to consumers: the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is responsible for enforcing all pesticide laws and regulations in Florida. If a consumer suspects that an entity or individual is carrying out illegal or unauthorized pest control operations, we urge Floridians to file a complaint by calling 1-850-617-7996 or filing a online report[ ].

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