News

Ex-Petaluma slaughterhouse employee guilty in sale of contaminated meat

Adulterated, misbranded, uninspected meat caught before heading to Bay Area markets

A federal judge sentenced a former employee of a Petaluma slaughterhouse Friday in San Francisco for his role in a scheme to distribute adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat.

Felix Sandoval Cabrera, 56, of Petaluma, was sentenced to three months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release, which includes three months of home confinement, in addition to $1,000, according to prosecutors.

Cabrera worked as the kill floor foreperson at the now defunct Rancho Feeding Corporation.

On Nov. 26, 2014, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat, prosecutors said.

As part of his plea agreement, Cabrera admitted to directing other kill floor employees to carve stamps that read "USDA Condemned" out of

carcasses of condemned cattle. He then directed the employees to process the carcasses for transport, sale and distribution, according to prosecutors.

Cabrera also admitted to placing heads of healthy cows next to the carcasses of cows that showed signs of cancer eye, in an effort to sidestep government meat inspection procedures. The uninspected cattle were then processed for transport, sale and distribution, prosecutors said.

Cabrera was charged along with fellow former employees Jesse Amaral, 78 and Eugene Corda, 66, both of Petaluma, with distribution of adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat, conspiracy to commit the same and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

A fourth defendant, Robert Singleton, 79, owner of the Petaluma-based Rancho Veal Corporation was charged separately with distribution of adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat.

Amaral, Corda and Singleton each pleaded guilty and acknowledged their separate roles in the scheme, according to prosecutors.

A federal judge sentenced Amaral to 12 months and one day of prison and Corda to three years probation, including six months of home detention.

Singleton was sentenced to three months imprisonment, to be followed by one year of supervised release, which includes three months of home confinement and fifty hours of community service, prosecutors said.

Daniel Montes, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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