Farmers get probation in fatal listeria outbreak
January 28, 2014 12:58PM
FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2013 file photo, Eric Jensen, 37, left, and Ryan Jensen, 33, leave the federal courthouse in Denver. On Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, the two Colorado cantaloupe farmers who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a deadly listeria outbreak in 2011 are scheduled to be sentenced. The brothers, who owned and operated Jensen Farms in Holly, face up to six years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. The outbreak was traced to tainted fruit from the farm, causing 33 deaths and sending scores of people to hospitals. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)
DENVER (AP) — 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.