DENVER - Two Colorado cantaloupe farmers who pleaded guilty to charges related to a deadly listeria outbreak are asking a federal judge for probation.
Attorneys for Eric and Ryan Jensen, the two brothers who owned and operated Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo., say jail time would be excessive.
The listeria outbreak traced to tainted fruit from the Jensens' farm caused 33 deaths and sent scores of people to hospitals. Officials have said people in 28 states ate the contaminated fruit and 147 were hospitalized.
The Jensens pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. The federal charges carry penalties of up to six years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. A sentencing hearing has been set for Jan. 28.