The last remaining remaining Rancho Feeding Corp. employee under federal indictment for processing cattle that were deemed unfit for human consumption has pleaded guilty to charges. Jesse Amaral Jr., 77, the company’s president and general manager, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to distribute adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat, reports SFGate.com.
Previously, Felix Cabrera, 56, the plant foreman who oversaw the kill floor, and Eugene Corda, 66, who was responsible for receiving cattle and moving them for inspection and slaughter, pleaded guilty to the same charge last fall. Robert Singleton, 78, who co-owned the plant with Amaral, pleaded guilty to distributing adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat.
Authorities said that from 2012 until 2014, when more than 8 million pounds of beef were recalled, Amaral directed employees to process cattle that had been condemned by a USDA veterinarian. Cabrera told employees to carve the “USDA Condemned” stamps out of the carcass. Amaral also directed Cabrera and Corda to circumvent inspection procedures for certain cows with signs of epithelioma, also known as “cancer eye.”