Minnesota farmer fined over raw milk charges

Published On: Oct 17 2012 05:30:59 AM CDT   Updated On: Oct 17 2012 05:30:00 AM CDT
GAYLORD, Minn. (AP) -

A southern Minnesota dairy farmer has been fined $585 for selling unpasteurized milk under a plea deal that ended his long-running legal battle with the state.

Michael O. Hartmann, of rural Gibbon, pleaded guilty Monday to just two misdemeanor counts out of an original nine-count criminal complaint, which alleged he continued to sell unpasteurized milk and other dairy and meat products contaminated with E. coli and other pathogens despite an embargo and other state efforts to stop him.

The Journal of New Ulm reports that Hartmann was fined, placed on six months unsupervised probation and ordered to comply with all state licensing and labeling laws within 60 days.

Assistant Sibley County Attorney Don Lannoye says his office didn't charge Hartmann with felonies because he didn't believe Hartmann intentionally harmed anyone.