A plea agreement has led to the sentencing of José Suarez for the knowing distribution of wholesale meat that was unfit for human consumption and adulterated in violation of federal law. Suarez, owner of Joshua Enterprises Inc. of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty to one federal felony count of offering 52,859 pounds of pork shoulder picnics for sale that he knew were unfit for human food when sold. usdainspector_406x250The plea agreement, filed last Sept. 9, was disclosed in USDA’s latest Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) quarterly enforcement report, which is a summary of all regulatory, civil and criminal actions taken by the agency during the final three months of 2014. Suarez’s case was wrapped up last month in U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico when his sentence was imposed. It includes one year of probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $2,500 fine, in addition to a $100 special monetary assessment that is mandated by law. Being on federal probation also means Suarez must submit a DNA sample, refrain from possessing firearms or controlled substances, and submit to property searches. Suarez was prosecuted under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, which has applied to Puerto Rico since 1971. From April 8, 2009, to Oct. 14, 2010, Suarez admitted selling or offering for sale 54,859 pounds of adulterated pork shoulder picnics after he was told that the meat products had suffered “temperature abuse” during transport. The wholesale meat distributor sold about 42,716 pounds of the adulterated pork shoulders. He then destroyed the remaining 12,143 pounds in November 2010. Suarez’s case was the only criminal action listed in the latest quarterly enforcement report for FSIS. However, the agency did enter into civil penalty stipulation agreements, requiring three companies to pay civil penalties for violations that were not detailed. Yu & Qiang in New York City agreed to pay a $680 civil penalty; Pinnacle Wholesale Inc. in Oakland, CA, accepted a $780 penalty, and C & J Distributors Inc. in Farmingdale, NY, agreed to pay $880. The agency’s Office of Investigations, Enforcement and Audit (OIEA) also issued 249 warning notices during the period. The latest quarterly enforcement report is for the first quarter of the federal fiscal year, which is the calendar used by USDA. The 2015 federal fiscal year began last Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30.