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January 26, 2006
Meat distributor sentenced for placing false labels on chicken

A San Antonio wholesale meat distributor was fined $40,000 for mislabeling frozen chicken in an attempt to dodge a 2002 Mexican ban on Texas chicken.

Allen Jackson "A.J." Hausman, 58, had pleaded guilty on behalf of himself and his company, Almacenes de Tejas, to four misdemeanor charges of violating the federal Poultry Products Protection Act.

A federal judge on Wednesday also sentenced Hausman and the company, which does business at ADT, to three years probation.

In 2002, Mexico banned chicken from Texas after some chickens raised in the state tested positive for exotic Newcastle disease, a type of bird flu.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture accused Hausman's company of removing the original labels from 858 cases of frozen chicken from a Texas producer. The company then put labels stamped with a federal mark of inspection for an Alabama producer, according to court records.

Hausman also acknowledged his company possessed counterfeit labels produced by his wife's printing company.

The 858 cases, which included about 35,000 pounds of frozen chicken leg quarters, were destroyed after agriculture department investigators uncovered the improper labeling.

Hausman's lawyer, Ronald "Rusty" Guyer, said the chicken was fit for consumption by anybody.

Hausman has said his company does most of its business in Mexico and delivers about 3 million pounds of meat each month to Monterrey, Mexico.

The company was also ordered to pay $100 to a special crime victims' fund.

Source : DentonRC