Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Butchering Calf Containing Non-Approved Drug

A man in Ohio has plead guilty to federal charges after having a calf slaughtered for human consumption that contained a non-approved antibiotic.

On Jan. 30, Cory L. Gillette, 31, of Albany, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to slaughtering a medicated calf with the intention of selling beef for human consumption. According to a release from the Department of Justice, the calf had been treated with an antibiotic not approved for cattle called Gentamicin.

In 2009, Gillette started buying and hauling cattle through his business Cory Gillette Farm in Athens County.

Under the plea agreement Gillette revealed that he routinely purchased injured, ill and potentially medicated cattle at a discount. The cattle were then to be sold to slaughter facilities to help maximize the profit.

At one point Gillette transported a calf from Southern Ohio to a slaughter facility in Addison, Ill. A random inspection resulted in the calf testing positive for Gentamicin, an aminoglycoside antibiotic.

Gillette was later interviewed by an investigator from the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations and he lied about where the calf had come from. He originally said the calf was purchased at a livestock auction in Zanesville, Ohio. However, it was determined that the calf was not purchased there. Gillette had attempted to limit the ability to trace back the source of the contamination by misleading investigators.

“The FDA, in partnership with the USDA, is vigilant in keeping antibiotics and other residual animal drugs out of the human food supply in the United States by carefully monitoring food-producing animals,” said Special Agent in Charge McCormack. “We will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who put public health at risk by selling food-producing animals that do not meet federal standards.”

In September 2018, Gillette was charged by a bill of information. He later pleaded guilty to one count of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce and faces up to one year in prison for the crime. Gillette also could face up to five years in prison on one count of making a false statement to a federal agent.