WATSONVILLE (CBS/AP) – A Central Coast strawberry farmer has agreed to pay a fine and destroy some of his berries after state regulators found he used an illegal pesticide on them.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation announced a settlement agreement with Lorenzo Lopez of Watsonville-based V.L. Farms on Thursday. They say Lopez acknowledged illegally using the insecticide methomyl and has agreed to destroy 10 acres of his 20-acre farm in addition to a $15,000 fine.

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Methomyl was once used by California growers to control lygus bugs in strawberries, but DPR stopped allowing its use in 2010.

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The agency says it discovered methomyl residue on the strawberries in April during routine produce residue sampling at a food warehouse in Southern California. DPR says it then traced the berries to Lopez.

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