Petaluma slaughterhouse co-owner sentenced to one year in prison

Rancho Feeding Corp. co-owner sentenced to one year in prison

Robert Digitale, Press Democrat, February 10, 2016

Jesse “Babe” Amaral Jr., the Rancho Feeding slaughterhouse owner whose sale of meat from condemned and uninspected cattle lead to a nationwide food recall two years ago, on Wednesday was sentenced to one year in federal prison and a year of supervised release.

Amaral, 78, was the last of four defendants to plead guilty to what prosecutors called “an outrageous scheme to distribute adulterated meat” for human consumption from the Petaluma slaughterhouse.

The scheme included fooling federal meat inspectors at the plant by secretly switching the heads of questionable cattle with those from apparently healthy animals.

Federal investigators first raided the Rancho facility in early 2014. By February, Amaral had closed the plant on Petaluma Boulevard North as part of the federal recall of 8.7 million pounds of meat, essentially a year’s worth of supply.

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