Florida agriculture officials have arrested a family allegedly involved in trying to ship citrus canker-infected trees out of a quarantined area.
In November, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services arrested two Clermont, Fla., nursery owners for allegedly breaking the state’s laws regarding moving citrus products from quarantined locations.
Officers arrested Gary Mahon and his mother, Shelby Mahon, who own John’s Citrus Trees nursery, and charged them with knowingly trying to sell infected plants.
On Dec. 31, the agency arrested John Mahon and his wife Shelby Mahon, as well as another son, Daniel Mahon, accusing them of selling 724 juvenile citrus trees infested with citrus canker to a citrus grove owner as well as selling other trees to agency undercover officers, according to a news release.
John Mahon is charged with misdemeanor battery against inspectors with the state’s Agricultural Law Enforcement agency for an altercation with officers when visiting a retail outlet of the nursery.
The agency issued warrants charging the suspects with fraud in the sales of the diseased trees, a first-degree felony, as well as a misdemeanor charge of engaging in nursery stock sales by unregistered dealers.