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Nogales company's $1.7 million PACA violation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited Nogales, AZ-based Sandia Distributors Inc. for failure to pay $1.77 million to four growers for 527 lots of produce.

As a result of these violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, Sandia Distributors Inc. cannot operate in the produce industry until Jan. 14, 2019, at which time it may reapply for a PACA license.

The company’s principal, Paul Paez, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until Jan. 14, 2018, and then only with the posting of a USDA-approved surety bond.

In the past three years, the USDA resolved approximately 3,500 PACA claims involving more than $58 million. Its experts also assisted more than 8,000 callers with issues valued at approximately $140 million.