Farmers to be sentenced in fatal listeria outbreak

1/28/2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Listeria-Cantaloupe-7

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)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DENVER  — Two Colorado cantaloupe farmers who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a deadly listeria outbreak in 2011 are set to be sentenced.

Brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen are scheduled to be sentenced in Denver federal court today. They pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor 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 asking for prison time for the brothers.

The Jensens have asked for probation, saying jail time is excessive because justice has been served with the imposition of new food guidelines.

Prosecutors also are asking for probation, in part because the brothers met with the families of many of the victims and assisted in the investigation.