UPDATE: Farmers Sentenced In Listeria Outbreak

KSCB News - January 28, 2014 8:27 am

Two Colorado cantaloupe farmers who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from a deadly listeria outbreak in 2011 have been sentenced to five years of probation and six months of home detention.

A federal magistrate in Denver on Tuesday also ordered brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen to each pay $150,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.

Each read a statement but didn’t show any emotion during the hearing.

They pleaded guilty last year to counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.

Relatives of seven of the 33 people killed in the outbreak testified during the sentencing hearing, with some asking for probation but others seeking prison time for the brothers.

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Two Colorado cantaloupe farmers who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a deadly listeria outbreak in 2011 are set to be sentenced.

Eric and Ryan Jensen, the two brothers who owned and operated Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo., are scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday. They pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce, which carry penalties of up to six years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

The outbreak traced to tainted fruit from the farm caused 33 deaths and sent scores of people to hospitals. People in 28 states ate the contaminated fruit, and 147 were hospitalized.

The Jensens have asked for probation, saying jail time is excessive because justice has been served with the imposition of new food guidelines.

 

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