Judge moves Rancho Feeding sentencing

by Erica Shaffer
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SAN FRANCISCO – A former co-owner of Petaluma, Calif.-based Rancho Feeding Corp. will be sentenced later this year.

Jesse “Babe” Amaral, Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat in February. He originally was to be sentenced on July 1. However, US District Judge Charles R. Breyer moved the sentencing hearing to Sept. 2 to give federal prosecutors more time to gather additional evidence to support their loss calculations. Amaral faces up to 28 years in prison when he is sentenced in September.

Amaral and other individuals associated with Rancho Feeding were charged with selling meat from condemned cows and dairy cows with eye cancer. The case resulted in a recall of approximately 8.7 million lbs. of meat products. After the company closed, Marin Sun Farms in Point Reyes Station, Calif., acquired the processor’s slaughtering facility.

Also involved in the conspiracy was Robert Singleton, owner of Rancho Veal Corp. Singleton pleaded guilty to charges that employees were instructed to carve the “USDA Condemned” stamps out of cattle carcasses; to conceal from USDA inspection cows showing signs of cancer eye and to process the carcasses for human consumption. He also admitted participating in the scheme to fraudulently invoice farmers.

Felix Sandoval Cabrera, Rancho’s “kill floor” supervisor, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute adulterated, misbranded, and uninspected meat on Nov. 26, 2014. Eugene Corda, Rancho’s yardman, pleaded guilty to the same offense on Oct. 10, 2014.
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