Two Colorado cantaloupe farmers are asking a federal judge for probation rather than jail time. Two years ago, a deadly listeria outbreak was traced back to cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms in southeastern Colorado. Brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen own the farm and in October pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. These federal charges can carry penalties of up to six years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.
The brothers’ attorney says jail time would be excessive. The Jensens have filed a lawsuit against an auditing company that gave the farm a “superior” safety report in 2011.
The tainted melons caused more than 30 deaths nationwide and sickened nearly 150. A sentencing hearing has been set for the end of the month.
You want to know what is really going on in Southern Colorado these days. We have got just the thing for people like you: the KRCC Weekly Digest. Sign up here and we will see you in your email inbox soon!