Stewart Parnell, a second-generation chief executive of a family-owned peanut enterprise who once served on the national Peanut Standards Board, was sentenced to a 28-year prison term on Monday for a series of criminal charges that amounted to his knowing that the peanut products he was shipping were contaminated with potentially deadly Salmonella.
His brother, Michael Parnell, whom the court viewed as a manager in the criminal enterprise, was sentenced to 20 years, and a former quality assurance manager, Mary Wilkerson, was sentenced to 5 years in a federal women’s prison.
U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands also ordered Stewart and Michael Parnell detained by U.S. Marshals at the close of Monday’s proceedings because he said they are flight risks.
Food Safety News will post more details on today’s sentencing in the Peanut Corporation of America case as they become available.