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House of Raeford found guilty of fouling water

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A federal jury has convicted poultry processor House of Raeford Farms of 10 counts of polluting the local sewer system, but the plant manager was acquitted on all charges.

The U.S. Department of Justice said that the poultry producer allowed employees for 16 months to send untreated wastewater contaminated with blood, grease and body parts from slaughtered turkeys directly to the city of Raeford’s wastewater treatment plant.

Monday’s verdicts followed a weeklong trial at the federal courthouse in Winston-Salem. The convictions could result in a $5 million fine.

Plant manager Gregory Steenblock faced a 14-count indictment. He was accused of being responsible for the discharges and for allowing them despite hearing complaints and warnings from his employees. He faced up to 42 years in prison had he been convicted.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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