A. A person who knowingly transports or causes the transportation of a crop pest or crop disease into this state is subject to a civil penalty as prescribed by subsection B of this section. A person who receives a certificate of release under section 3-209 is exempt from this section.
B. The director may bring an action under this section in superior court in the county in which a violation is alleged to have occurred. On finding a knowing violation, the court may assess the civil penalty in an amount it considers appropriate, but not exceeding five thousand dollars for each violation. In determining the amount of the penalty, the court shall consider at least the following items:
1. Any prior violations of the same nature within the preceding twenty-four months.
2. The actual consequences and danger of the crop pest or crop disease to the state or to the agricultural or horticultural industry in this state.
3. The commodity or other thing that carries the crop pest or crop disease into this state.
4. The class of crop pest or crop disease introduced.
5. Whether the defendant possesses a certificate of release.
6. Any abatement action taken by the defendant.
7. The extent of the infestation.
C. All civil penalties assessed pursuant to this section shall be deposited, pursuant to sections 35-146 and 35-147, in the state general fund.