Jury Convicts Three Of Selling Contaminated Grain
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) _ A federal court jury Friday convicted three men of selling pesticide- contamin ated grain to dairy farmers, which led to the recall of milk products in several states last year.
The jury returned the verdicts during its third day of deliberation in the trial of Brownie McBride of Greenwood and brothers Jack and Henry White of Van Buren. Sentencing will be in about six weeks, officials said.
The men were found innocent of trying to defraud farmers by selling them bad feed.
The banned pesticide heptachlor was found in dairy cattle in early 1986. More than 130 dairy herds in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri were quarantined after the contamination was discovered.
Jack White owned Valley Feeds, which officials say was the source of milk and dairy cattle feed contamination, and operated a gasohol plant. Henry White worked for Valley Feeds, and McBride was superintendent of the gasohol plant.
Defense lawyers argued the defendants were unaware that pesticides were in the grain used to make gasohol and sold as feed.
Jack White, who was named in 48 counts of a grand jury indictment, was convicted on 21 counts, including five felonies - two counts of wire fraud, two counts of interstate transportation of money and one count of making a false statement.
Henry White was named in 37 counts and was convicted of 17 counts. McBride was named in 47 counts and convicted of 20. Each was convicted of two counts of wire fraud and two counts of interstate transportation of money.
Co-defendant Jerry Finley of Claremore, Okla., who worked for the feed company, had pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of pollution violations Monday.