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Northern Michigan farmer sentenced for selling tainted cider

LANSING (WKZO) -- An apple farmer from Antrim County in northwest Michigan will spend between 14 and 48 months in prison for violating the state’s food laws.

James Ruster is the first person convicted of the crime since it became a felony in 2000.  He sold tainted apple cider from his Mitchell Hill Farm, with several people being sickened by E. coli bacteria.

Ruster was caught selling the cider, for which his farm did not have a license, in October 2011 and kept selling it even after being told he was falling short of safe production standards.