Year in Prison for Slaughterhouse Owner Who Sold Sick Cattle

A Petaluma slaughterhouse owner has been sentenced to a year in prison after he admitted selling mean from sick and uninspected cattle that resulted in a recall of over 8 million pounds of beef in 2014.

Jesse Amaral, 78, was sentenced Wednesday based on his guilty plea to a conspiracy to sell adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat through his now-defunct slaughterhouse, Rancho Feeding Corp.

Federal prosecutors accused him of two separate schemes including the conspiracy to sell the meat from sick cattle and the second a plan to defraud farmers through false invoicing.

Amaral admitted that from 2012 to 2014 he instructed Rancho employees to process cattle for human food that had been condemned by a U.S. agriculture inspector by ordering them to carve out the USDA Condemned stamps on the cattle carcasses and to conceal animals showing diseases from other inspectors.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer sentenced Amaral to a year in prison.  He was ordered to surrender by March 25 to begin serving the sentence.

Sentencing for two other Rancho employees are set for March 2 and a third is set for March 23.

Case: U.S. v. Amaral, No. 14-437


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