Below is original post from 9/21/2012 [later revised for GLOBE NEWSWIRE]
Jury Finds Alvin Schlangen ‘Not Guilty’ in Hennepin County
Falls Church, Virginia (September 21, 2012)—On September 20 a jury found Alvin Schlangen not guilty on all three counts referred by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and brought by the Hennepin County prosecutorâ€™s office. The Department alleged that Mr. Schlangen criminally sold raw milk off the farm, that he criminally handled food without first possessing a food handlerâ€™s permit, and that he criminally distributed misbranded and/or adulterated dairy products. A fourth charge on a labeling violation was dropped at the beginning of the trial.
Schlangen, volunteer manager for the Freedom Farms food buyers club, was raided by MDA twice in 2010 and once in 2011; the department seized thousands of dollars worth of the members’ food. The charges against Schlangen stemmed from the March 2011 raid in which MDA impounded Schlangen’s truck and confiscated all of the club members’ food on it. Instead of being a criminal, Mr. Schlangen provides a service by delivering nutrient-dense food to people who want it.
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and the Weston A. Price Foundation provided assistance to Mr. Schlangen in defending himself against these charges; both organizations congratulate him and his attorney, Nathan Hansen, for this great victory vindicating Alvin’s courageous stand against government agency seeking to restrict freedom of food choice. Congratulations are also due the members of the Freedom Farms Coop who supported Alvin throughout the three-day trial.
Mr. Schlangen faces a second criminal trial in Stearns County on six misdemeanor counts for alleged violations of the Minnesota food and dairy code. The trial was scheduled to begin October 9; instead a pre-trial hearing is set for November 2.
Read the Globe Newswire press release, “Jury Vindicates Farmer of Criminal Charges Related to Minnesota Food Buying Coop: Decision Heartens Proponents of Raw Milk Access”, 9/27/12.
Read the Hennepin County Complaint filed against Alvin Schlangen.
Last Updated: 9/28/2012