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Jensen Farmers To Plead Guilty Over Tainted Cantaloupes

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Jensen Farms (credit: CBS)

Jensen Farms (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – The owners of Jensen Farms who are charged with putting contaminated cantaloupes into the nation’s food supply in 2011 have made a plea deal and plan to plead guilty.

CBS4 obtained copies of notices filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court stating the intention of brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen.

The cantaloupes contaminated with listeria led to at least 33 deaths and 147 hospitalizations in 28 states, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cantaloupes came from the Jensen’s Granada processing plant.

The Jensens were charged last month with six counts, one each for six shipments between July and August 2011, of “introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.” The charge is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty on each count of one year or less of confinement and a $250,000 fine.

Specifics of plea deals with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Colorado typically aren’t disclosed until a “plea agreement” is filed at the time guilty pleas are entered. As a result, it is not known what the brothers specifically will plead guilty to.

The notices filed Tuesday by attorneys for the Jensen brothers ask a judge to set a hearing on Oct. 22 for the Jensens to plead guilty.

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