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Monday, Jun 18, 2018
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Citrus Park man pleads guilty to meat slaughter charge

The Citrus Park operator of a farm faces up to nine years in federal prison after pleading guilty Thursday to three federal meat inspection violations.

Jorge F. Ortega, 27, was charged with improper slaughter of a swine, selling adulterated or misbranded meat, and selling uninspected meat. Each charge has a maximum sentence of three years.

Ortega was responsible for the activities of Jorge’s Farm, including the slaughtering, processing, handling storing and selling of swine for human consumption, according to U.S Attorney A. Lee Bentley.

On Oct. 27, 2011, Ortega slaughtered a swine in an inhumane manner, Bentley’s office said in a news release. According to prosecutors, the slaughter was done “without first rendering the swine insensible to pain.”

The swine was contaminated with insects and other filth, court documents show.

Ortega then sold the carcass to an undercover agent without labeling it properly and without the required federal meat inspection, court document show.

The violations are covered by the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.

In 2012, Ortega was arrested and charged with the sale of horse meat for human consumption, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. In a plea deal, he agreed to serve 18 months probation.

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