An Albany-area farmer who pled guilty last year in federal court to introducing adulterated food into instate commerce has been sentenced for the charges.
Cory Gillette, 31, a cattle hauler and dealer, was sentenced to five years probation, a $1,000 fine and 150 hours of community service for introducing adulterated food into instate commerce and for making false statements to federal investigators. Gillette entered a plea of guilty in January 2019.
“As part of his plea, Gillette admitted that he often bought injured, ill and potentially medicated animals at a discounted price with the intention of selling the animals to slaughter facilities and maximizing his profit,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman in a news release.
According to the charges, Gilette presented cattle to slaughterhouses that tested positive for Gentamicin, a new antibiotic not allowed in food intended for human consumption and not approved for use with cattle.
Food is deemed adulterated under federal law if it contains a new animal drug that is unsafe for its intended use. This is determined by the approved conditions for use, as well as the accompanying withdrawal periods and tissue resident tolerances stated in the drugs labeling.
“Since Gentamicin is not approved for use in cattle, it is considered unsafe when used in cattle,” the sentencing release stated.
This case dates back to 2014, when Gillette delivered the adulterated calf from Albany to Addison, Indiana, where it was to be slaughtered for human food. The calf tested positive for Gentamicin at that point, and was referred to the Federal Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations for a closer look.
In January 2015, Gillette knowingly made false statements to an FDA investigator who visited Cory Gillette Farm. Gillette said he had purchased the calf containing the Gentamicin residue at a livestock auction in Zanesville, “which was untrue and an attempt to mislead investigators,” the press release stated.
A federal judge also found Gillette at fault for claiming he had stopped dealing or hauling livestock permanently in March 2014, which is untrue.
In 2017, Gillette’s farm was inspected and Gillette admitted to purchasing sick calves and selling them for human consumption. He had also failed to maintain treatment records of any kind, federal investigators noted.
Gillette was charged by a bill of information in September 2018. He thereafter pleaded guilty to one count of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce, a crime punishable by up to one year in prison, and one count of making false statements to federal agents, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.