'Eye Cancer' Slaughterhouse Charged with 11 Felony Counts
Following a criminal investigation conducted at Rancho Feeding Corp. — the Petaluma slaughterhouse which earlier this year recalled approximately 8.7 million pounds of beef connected with dairy cows with a condition known as “cancer eye” that often indicates cancer elsewhere in the body — a federal grand jury has charged employees at the now-shuttered slaughterhouse with 11 felony counts, according to KQED.
Rancho Feeding Corp. and two employees have been charged with a number of felonies for knowingly processing diseased cattle between mid-2012 and January 2014.
According to the federal indictment, a foreperson on the slaughterhouse’s “kill floor” was responsible for switching uninspected cows for cows that had already passed inspection, and then chopping off the heads of the diseased cows, which exhibited clear signs of illness, to avoid detection.
From the indictment:
“This switch and slaughter of uninspected cancer eye cows occurred during the inspectors’ lunch breaks, a time during which plant operations were supposed to cease. When the inspectors returned from lunch for post mortem inspections, they were unaware that the carcasses they were inspecting belonged to cancer eye cows that had escaped ante mortem inspection.”
For each condemned carcass or uninspected cancer eye cow which evaded detection, Rancho’s foreperson was paid $50.
Among the charges against those involved in Rancho’s massive scandal include the distribution of adulterated and misbranded meat (employees were instructed to "carve ‘USDA Condemned’ stamp out of the cattle carcasses" so they could be processed and sold), mail fraud (for creating false invoices to farmers for the disposal of condemned cows, though they were processed for human consumption), and conspiracy.
For the latest food and drink updates, visit our Food News page.
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.
3 charged after missing person investigation
FLINT, Michigan (WNEM) — Three people have been charged, including two who are still wanted, after a missing person investigation from last year in Flint.
Flint police started searching for Craig Myott Jr. in June 2020, who was last seen in May of 2020 in the city of Flint.
After an investigation, warrants have been issued for three individuals.
Cory Rolland, 31, has been charged and arraigned for four counts of felony firearm, first-degree murder, tampering with evidence in a criminal case, felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, gang membership felonies and witnesses of bribing, intimidating, and interfering in a criminal case.
Selena Johnson, 22, is wanted for tampering of evidence in a criminal case, gang membership felonies, lying to a peace officer in a violent crime investigation and witnesses of bribing, intimidating, and interfering in a criminal case.
Devin Sayles, 33, is wanted for first-degree murder, gang membership felonies, tampering with evidence in a criminal case, carrying a concealed weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, and four counts of felony firearm which is a second offense.
Residents with any information on the whereabouts of Selena Johnson or Devin Sayles are asked to call 810-237-6807 or can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL to stay anonymous.
Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.
Kindle waives constituional right to speedy trial
Jeremy Kindle on Tuesday waived his right to a speedy trial during a brief appearance in Allen County Common Pleas Court. He is charged with 65 felony sex-related charges, including rape.
LIMA — Jeremy Kindle, 35, of Elida, waived his constitutional right to a speedy trial during a brief court appearance Tuesday.
Kindle is charged with 11 counts of rape, 11 counts of sexual battery, six counts of felonious assault, 17 counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, 18 counts of sexual battery and single counts of felonious assault and tampering with evidence.
He and Scott Steffes, 38, of Lima, were charged with 65 and 62 felony counts, respectively, in recent grand jury indictments. The charges were based on a series of alleged incidents that also led the executive director and two employees of the Allen County Children Services to be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Jeremy Kindle on Tuesday waived his right to a speedy trial during a brief appearance in Allen County Common Pleas Court. He is charged with 65 felony sex-related charges, including rape.
Surgeon charged in scheme to pay addicts to receive experimental implant
A California doctor has been charged after it was found that vulnerable drug addicts were being paid hundreds of dollars in cash to receive an experimental procedure, after which several died of overdoses.
Dr. Randy Rosen is facing 88 felony charges from the Los Angeles Orange County district attorney, who called him "a real life" Frankenstein. Prosecutors have accused him of fraudulently billing insurance companies over $650 million and stealing almost $52 million in what they call an elaborate scheme.
A 2018 CBS News investigation found medical industry insiders claiming that doctors made up to $30,000 conducting a simple, 30-minute outpatient procedure implanting a small pellet.
The pellet, a naltrexone implant, was inserted near a patient's abdomen and released medication to help curb cravings and blocked the brain's opiate receptors . The result was that heroine users conceivably would not feel its effects.
As part of the investigation, CBS News spoke undercover with some marketers and recruiters, who pointed them to Rosen.
A woman named Debbie Berry, whose son was one of the victims of Rosen's procedure, also spoke out. She told CBS News in 2018 that her son, Brennen, texted her to tell her he had a drug problem.
Desperate to help, Berry got him into treatment in California. One day, he called her to tell her he found something to help. She said he told her, "I'm going to get an implant put in, I'm here with them and they've done a pre-certification that your insurance will pay for it."
Berry said Brennen was "adamant" about how much the implant would help.
Three months after the procedure, Brennen overdosed after taking heroin mixed with fentanyl . After he died, Berry learned her son was paid $1,000 to get the implant.
"I absolutely did not know he was getting paid for it," she told "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-host Jeff Glor. "You don't give a drug addict cash money."
Rosen declined a 2018 request for comment, and said nothing to a CBS News producer outside of his office.
Today, Berry said there is "not a second of a day that goes by" that she does not miss her son, but she said she wants to see justice served.
"If they get him convicted, I've already told the DA's office that I will fly to California and I will get on that stand and I will face that man, look him right in the eye and give a victim impact statement," she said.
Berry said she hopes to face Rosen in court, and send him a clear message.
"I want to face him and tell him what he's taken from me and what I have to live with for the rest of my life," she said. "And what I'm living without for the rest of my life."
Rosen plead "not guilty" to all 88 felony counts. CBS News reached out to his attorney for comment multiple times, but he has not responded to the request.
Rancho Co-Owner Will Go To Trial Alone, Three Others Make Plea Deals
Jury selection will begin July 16, 2015, in the federal criminal conspiracy case involving former Rancho Feeding Corp. co-owner Jesse J. Amaral Jr. The 76-year-old cattle company executive will be tried alone as three others, implicated in the alleged conspiracy to sell for human consumption cattle known to have cancerous eyeballs, have all made deals with the prosecution. Felix Sandoval Cabrera, 55, the foreman of Rancho’s slaughterhouse at Petaluma, CA, is the latest to reach a plea agreement with the government, entering a single guilty plea to count 7 of the original indictment last Aug. 14 charging him with distribution of adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat. Earlier, Eugene D. Corda, the 65-year-old Rancho yardman, and 77-year-old Robert Singleton, Rancho’s other co-owner, also entered guilty pleas to the same sole count. Government prosecutors allege that Rancho processed some cattle exhibiting signs of epithelioma, or lumps or other abnormalities in and around the eye. That leaves only Amaral going to trial next July. The court-approved plea agreements the other three defendants have with the government are sealed, but it’s likely that all three have agreed to appear at the trial as government witnesses against him. The prosecution has charged the former Rancho co-owner with 11 federal felony counts. The government will attempt to prove to a jury that the Petaluma resident is guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat, two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, six counts of distribution of adulterated and misbranded meat, one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and two counts of mail fraud. If convicted on all counts, Amaral could be sentenced to more than 100 years in jail and fined more than $1.3 million. Proceedings for all the defendants are being held before U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer in San Francisco. He has scheduled a status conference for Singleton on Feb. 18, 2015, and another for Cabrera and Corda on Aug. 12, 2015, which will likely be after the Amaral trial has concluded. Amaral, Rancho’s president and general manager, was in control of the day-to-day operations at the Petaluma slaughterhouse located 60 miles north of San Francisco. Singleton’s role was to buy cattle and supervise processed beef for distribution. Cabrera, Rancho’s foreman, was responsible for the staff and the “kill floor,” including being responsible for “knocking cattle,” or stunning them immediately prior to slaughter. As yardman, Corda was responsible for receiving cattle and moving them to the proper areas for inspection and slaughter. Singleton bought cattle from both auction houses and individual farmers and ranchers in Northern California and Nevada. “Some of the purchased cattle exhibited signs of epithelioma, that is lumps or other abnormalities around the eye, and were less expensive than cattle that appeared completely healthy,” according to the indictment. When cattle with these eye conditions arrived at the Petaluma slaughterhouse, Corda or another Rancho employee would allegedly place them in pen 9A, court documents state. The owners were in charge of determining the order in which cattle were processed for inspection and slaughter. When instructed, Corda moved cattle into the pen designated for ante-mortem inspection by the USDA veterinarian or Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) personnel. Cattle passing ante-mortem inspection generally went immediately into the kill chute, where they were knocked, slaughtered and inspected again post mortem. After passing the post-mortem inspection, the carcass was tagged and could be sold. In mid-2012, Amaral is accused of ordering Rancho employees to process cattle that were condemned by the USDA veterinarian. At his instruction, Cabrera allegedly had workers cut the “USDA Condemned” stamps out of the cattle carcasses so they could be processed for sale and distribution. At about the same time, prosecutors say Amaral gave the foreman, Cabrera, and the yardman, Corda, directions on how to circumvent inspection procedures for cows with cancerous eyes. Both Amaral and Singleton allegedly told their employees to swap out uninspected cows with cancerous eyes with cattle that had already passed ante-mortem inspection. “Cabrera knocked the cancer eye cows, and he or another kill floor employee at his instruction slaughtered them and deposited their heads in the gut bin,” the indictment states. “Cabrera, or another kill floor employee at his instruction, placed heads from apparently healthy cows, which had been previously reserved, next to the cancer eye cow carcasses. “The switch and slaughter of un-inspected cancer eye cows occurred during the inspectors’ lunch breaks, at a time during which plant operations were supposed to cease,” the charging documents continue. “When the inspectors returned from lunch for post mortem inspections, they were unaware that the carcasses they were inspecting belonged to cancer eye cows that had escaped ante mortem inspection.” Based on Rancho’s records, the government found that, from January 2013 to January 2014, beef from 101 head of condemned cattle and 79 cows with eye cancer was processed for human consumption. For every diseased animal that he got past USDA inspectors, Cabrera allegedly got a $50 bonus. In early 2014, with the federal investigation underway, Rancho recalled all of its beef production going back the previous year, or about 8.7 million pounds. It also was forced to close down and ultimately sell the Petaluma slaughterhouse. The facility has since resumed operations under new ownership.
Rancho Feeding Corporation – Can you say – “Jail Time?”
Last week a grand jury indicted charged Rancho Feeding Corporation co-owner Jesse J. Amaral Jr. and two workers, Felix Sandoval Cabrera and Eugene D. Corda, with 11 felony counts, including distribution of adulterated and misbranded meat, mail fraud and conspiracy. The three are charged for processing animals condemned by FSIS inspectors and processing others that were known to have eye cancer.
The slaughterhouse was at the center of a nine million pound beef recall.
According to the indictment, the three swapped uninspected cows for cattle that had already passed inspection and were awaiting slaughter. They then slaughtered the cancerous cattle and deposited their heads in a gut bin. Cabrera and Corda then allegedly placed the heads from apparently healthy cattle next to the carcasses of the diseased cattle during the inspectors’ lunch breaks. Cabrera and Corda are also carved out “USDA Condemned” stamps from other carcasses.
Amaral told farmers that their cattle had died or been condemned, knowing in fact they had been sold for human consumption. He then billed farmers for handling fees for disposal of the carcasses instead of compensating them for the sale price.
Can you say – “Jail Time?” I think that for each felony count it is three years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
Rancho Feeding Corp. Owners, Workers Charged With Selling Sick, Unfit Cattle
(John Moore/Getty Images) (John Moore/Getty Images)
Updated 5:20 p.m.: A federal grand jury has indicted Rancho Feeding Corp., the Petaluma slaughterhouse at the center of a massive beef recall, for processing animals condemned by U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors and processing others that were known to have eye cancer.
The indictment, dated last Thursday and embedded below, charges Rancho co-owner Jesse J. Amaral Jr. and two workers, foreperson Felix Sandoval Cabrera and yardperson Eugene D. Corda, with 11 felony counts, including distribution of adulterated and misbranded meat, mail fraud and conspiracy. Amaral pleaded not guilty during a Monday morning hearing and was released on $50,000 bail. The status of Cabrera and Corda is still pending.
In a filing Monday, prosecutors informed U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer that Rancho's co-owner, Robert Singleton, will be indicted on a single count of distributing adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat. The filing says the U.S. Attorney's Office anticipates that Singleton will plead guilty and cooperate with prosecution of the other Rancho defendants. The main indictment, which does not name Singleton as a defendant, refers to him only as "R.S."
The indictment alleges that Amaral and R.S. directed employees to circumvent inspection procedures for cows that exhibited signs of epithelioma, including lumps and other abnormalities around the eyes, from mid-2012 until January 2014.
According to the indictment, Cabrera, the foreperson, swapped uninspected cows for cattle that had already passed inspection and were awaiting slaughter. Then employees slaughtered the cancerous cattle and deposited their heads in a gut bin, the indictment says. Employees then allegedly placed the heads from apparently healthy cattle next to the carcasses of the diseased cattle during the inspectors' lunch breaks.
Employees are also said to have carved out "USDA Condemned" stamps from other carcasses. Between January 2013 and 2014 Rancho allegedly processed and distributed meat from about 101 condemned cattle and 79 cancerous cattle. Rancho paid Cabrera $50 for each condemned carcass that was distributed, the indictment alleges.
It's rare for a recall to lead to a federal indictment, said Bill Marler, a food safety attorney.
"There are very few criminal prosecutions generally in food cases, and there are very few and far between in meat cases," Marler said. "They're facing some severe jail time and some severe fines."
A single felony charge can lead to up to three years in jail and $250,000. The defendants face 11 felony charges.
Rancho shut down in February, leaving the North Bay's livestock industry without a local slaughterhouse. Nearly 9 million pounds of beef were recalled, affecting more than 1,000 establishments in 29 states and Canada.
North Bay Congressman Jared Huffman said he was surprised the indictment focused on 180 carcasses when the recall was so large.
However, it can be hard to tell what's contaminated and what's safe.
"From the perspective of the inspectors, if somebody's willing to change out cow heads and remove condemned stamps over a long period of time, you have to almost ask yourself. 'What else are they doing?'" Marler said.
A North Bay rancher disposed of 30 tons of grass-fed meat that he was blocked from selling because of the recall. Bill Niman estimates that he lost $400,000.
While Niman has a good claim against Rancho, Marler said, it's unlikely that there will be money left to pay affected ranchers.
'Eye Cancer' Slaughterhouse Charged with 11 Felony Counts - Recipes
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Owner of traveling reptile show charged with animal cruelty
An Elmhurst woman who owns a traveling reptile show faces animal cruelty charges alleging she failed to properly feed and provide other necessary care to her snakes and other creatures, DuPage County authorities say.
We first wrote about Shelby Becci in April, when she sued the county, its state's attorney's office and the Chicago Herpetological Society to get back nearly 60 snakes and about a dozen other reptiles that had been seized in February.
The animals were found by federal agents when they raided an Addison man's property during a weapons investigation. Becci's attorney then told us she was renting space in a garage because her home had been damaged in a fire last year. Animal control was called in, and it asked the herpetological society to care for the animals.
This month, the state's attorney charged Becci, formerly of Villa Park, with seven counts of animal cruelty, and seven counts of failure to perform owners' duties.
Prosecutors say she didn't provide adequate food, water, light and heat to her animals. Temperatures in the stand-alone garage ranged from 53 to 65 degrees, well below the necessary 75 to 82 degrees the reptiles needed, according to court records.
One snake had thermal burns, likely from desperately snuggling up to a heat source, according to a report from Dr. Susan Brown of Rosehaven Exotic Animal Veterinary Services. The report is part of a request prosecutors filed Wednesday seeking to permanently take away the reptiles.
About half the reptiles were underweight, Brown wrote, including five that were "emaciated." There were urine and feces in the enclosures and in food and water dishes, and there were multiple reptiles in some of the enclosures, which is not good practice, she wrote.
Authorities also found shed skins in some cages, indicating they probably had not been cleaned for several months. Other snakes had retained dead skins, another sign of ill health or the lack of a textured surface to rub on. Some were infested with mites.
According to the court documents, there was spoiled and dried commercial food. A ball python had an irregular mass in its abdomen, was bloated and was unable to raise itself. The snake with the burns also had rat bites. There were live rats in cages, but also running around the garage, according to Brown.
A dead, dried blue-tongue skink was within 3 feet of the door, and there were two dead snakes in the garage.
Two of the seized reptiles later died, likely because of their mistreatment, according to the criminal charges.
Brown noted that because reptiles -- unlike us mammals -- don't have the facial and eye structure to express emotion, people tend to think they don't have feelings and don't experience pain.
"Nothing could be farther from the truth," she wrote. "It is currently recognized in the scientific community that reptiles have complex cognitive and emotional capacities which translates to greater needs in captivity than a tiny bare cage, suboptimum temperature and inappropriate lighting or diet."
Disgraced former DuPage County Circuit Court Judge Patrick O'Shea can't even practice law now. The Illinois Supreme Court has suspended his law license for one year.
To get it back, he would need to apply to the court, and have a hearing by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.
The Illinois Courts Commission removed him from the bench in 2019 for misconduct. It found he had made false statements to police and the Judicial Inquiry Board over his firing a handgun in his Wheaton apartment.
He was acquitted of reckless conduct regarding the shooting, in which a bullet went through a wall and ended up in a neighbor's apartment.
New charge in carjacking:
A 16-year-old boy was the shooter in the January carjacking in Aurora that severely injured a woman, authorities now say.
The boy -- who was 15 at the time of the attack -- is charged with attempted first-degree murder. The charge was revealed during a May 11 hearing in Kane County juvenile court.
He also faces felony charges of aggravated battery with a gun, armed violence, possession of stolen motor vehicles, unlawful possession of a gun and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
Prosecutors are asking to have the boy tried as an adult. He is due back in court June 8. In the meantime, he remains in the custody of the Kane County Juvenile Justice Center.
The boy's name is not being published, by order of the judge, which is a standard practice in Kane County juvenile court and other juvenile courts.
A 26-year-old co-defendant faces charges of aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated battery, armed violence and possession of stolen motor vehicles. Authorities suspect a third person -- a juvenile -- was involved, and a fourth suspect -- also a teen -- died in an unrelated crime.
Justin L. Dalcollo, who pleaded guilty in September to robbing and raping a woman in Bloomingdale, received permission Thursday to withdraw his plea. The case is now set for trial in July.
Dalcollo, who could have been sentenced to up to 75 years in prison, is now representing himself in court.
And he is in some new trouble. A DuPage County grand jury indicted him May 11 on three counts of forgery. Dalcollo, 36, is accused of filing false documents with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, including a false transcript of court proceedings, a false felony complaint and a false verification of felony complaint.
Dalcollo has been trying, since late October, to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial. He alleged he didn't fully understand the consequences of his plea, nor the warnings the judge gave him about them. He also says he tried to tell the judge he was not satisfied with the performance of his lawyer, but the judge refused to listen.
Dalcollo is charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault with a firearm, armed robbery, aggravated unlawful restraint with a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. Authorities say he kidnapped a 21-year-old woman in 2019 in shopping center parking lot, made her drive to an Glendale Heights ATM to withdraw $300, forced her to drive around Hanover Park and Bartlett, and then to the casino in Elgin, where he allegedly assaulted her in a parking garage.
Woman charged with setting fire alarm in jail
JERSEYVILLE &mdash A Jerseyville woman in custody on a methamphetamine-related felony has been charged with activating the fire alarm in her cell at the Jersey County Jail.
Heather M. Breedlove, 32, of Jerseyville, was charged with tampering with security, fire, life systems, a Class 4 felony.
According to court documents, on April 4 Breedlove allegedly used an E-Cig to activate the fire alarm in her cell.
She has been in custody on an unlawful possession of methamphetamine charge. The Class 3 felony was filed March 15.
Bail on the original charge was set at $25,000, no additional bail was set.
Other felony charges filed recently by the Jersey County State&rsquos Attorney&rsquos Office include:
&bull Phillip MW March, 33, of Kane, was charged April 8 with unlawful possession of stolen motor vehicle, a Class 2 felony and aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer, a Class 4 felony. According to court documents, on April 7 March allegedly was found to be in possession of a stolen 2009 Ford Fusion, and attempted to elude a police officer on Crystal Lake Road at U.S. 67, reaching speeds of more than 21 miles over the posted speed limit. Bail was set at $50,000.
&bull Troy E. Howard, 48, of Jerseyville, was charged April 5 with unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a Class 3 felony two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, Class 4 felonies and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. On April 3 Howard allegedly was found to be in possession of less than five grams of methamphetamine less than 15 grams each of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, and hydrocodone and a glass pipe. Bail was set at $10,000.
&bull Nita B. Taylor, 51, of Jerseyville, was charged April 5 with unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a Class 3 felony and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. On April 3 Taylor allegedly was found to be in possession of less than five grams of methamphetamine and a glass pipe. Bail was set at $10,000.
&bull John W. Booth, 39, of Cottage Hills, was charged April 6 with unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a Class 3 felony. On April 5 Booth allegedly was found to be in possession of less than five grams of methamphetamine. Bail was set at $10,000.
&bull Corena M. Sumpter, 39, of Alton, was charged April 5 with unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a Class 3 felony. On April 3 Sumpter allegedly was found to be in possession of less than five grams of methamphetamine. Bail was set at $10,000.
&bull Heather N. Edgell, 35, of Alton, was charged April 5 with unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a Class 3 felony. On April 3 Edgell allegedly was found to be in possession of less than five grams of methamphetamine. Bail was set at $10,000.
&bull John D. Adams Jr., 38, and Maryssa R. McCarty, 23, both of Kane, were each charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, Class 4 felonies, and disorderly conduct, both Class C misdemeanors. On April 4 the two allegedly were found to be in possession of less than 15 grams of MDMA. Adams was also charged with leaving his vehicle and chasing two people through the Walmart Parking lot in Jerseyville and McCarty was charged with slapping one of them in the face in the Burger King parking lot. Bail was set at $10,000 each.
&bull Joseph R. Hillman, 28, of Jerseyville, was charged April 8 with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony. On March 5 Booth allegedly was found to be in possession of less than 15 grams of heroin. No bail was noted.
&bull Danielle N. Galbreath, 23, of Godfrey, was charged April 8 with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony. On March 5 Booth allegedly was found to be in possession of less than 15 grams of heroin. No bail was noted.