Louisiana corp. pleads guilty to adulterated meat transport

A Tickfaw, La., corporation entered a guilty plea and was sentenced Tuesday before U.S. Senior District Court Judge David C. Bramlette III in Natchez for transporting adulterated meat, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis in a Wednesday afternoon press release.

El Ranchito Corp. was fined $6,000 dollars and placed on one year probation.

The investigation in the case revealed that Joel Cervantes, who was previously convicted of inhumanely slaughtering animals, was the president of El Ranchito Corp.

El Ranchito is a Mexican Restaurant located in Tickfaw and incorporated in the state of Louisiana. Cervantes owned land in Magnolia, Miss., near Highway 51 where he kept swine for the purpose of supplying El Ranchito Corp. with pork.

Cervantes routinely butchered swine in unsanitary conditions, and then transported the meat from Magnolia to El Ranchito restaurant in Tickfaw, according to case documents.

The meat was then sold to the customers of El Ranchito. In all approximately 6,771 pounds of adulterated pork was sold to customers of El Ranchito.

The case was investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Lemon.