Listeria case farmers, Eric and Ryan Jensen, seek probation instead of jail time for outbreak

DENVER - Two Colorado cantaloupe farmers who pleaded guilty to charges related to a deadly listeria outbreak are asking a federal judge for probation.

In October, Eric and Ryan Jensen pleaded guilty to six counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce in connection with the 2011 outbreak that killed at least 33 people.

Under the plea bargain, the brothers face up to one year in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. However, attorneys for the Jensens say the possible jail time is too excessive.

A sentencing hearing has been set for Jan. 28.

As part of their plea, the Jensens agreed to meet with victims and answer questions about what happened at their farm. About a dozen people attended the private meeting at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver in November.

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