Trucking company pleads guilty to falsifying records in tainted milk case

A Pennsylvania trucking company owner, who told authorities he conspired with a New Jersey cheese company to sell tainted milk, pleaded guilty late last week to falsifying his drivers’ records, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Dean Landis, owner of D.A. Landis Trucking, Inc., entered guilty pleas on his and his company’s behalf in connection with conspiracy to falsify drivers’ daily logs between 2007 and 2009, according to a press release from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Sentencing is scheduled for July 24, according to a report in the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Landis also admitted to selling milk that was supposed to be dumped in a farmer’s manure pit because of its levels of antibiotics, according to court documents. Joseph G. Lotito, 42, of Annandale and his company, Lebanon Cheese Co., were charged earlier this week by the U.S. Attorney’s Office with causing the interstate shipment of adulterated ricotta cheese. The cheese Lotito’s company sold was unfit for human consumption, because the milk used to make it failed FDA-approved screening tests for acceptable levels of antibiotics, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Authorities said Landis told his drivers to not let any rejected loads get dumped, saying that he had “a better way of disposing of them that I can make a little profit on,” according to court documents. Authorities said from about January 2008 to about July 2009, the drivers of loads that tested positive for antibiotics were told by Landis to return the milk to a yard where it was pumped into another truck. From there, authorities said, the drivers delivered the tainted milk to the cheese company. Landis made about $30,000 off 20 loads of condemned milk that was sold, according to court documents.
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