Prosecutor Defends Decision to Charge Stockton Woman With Selling Illegal Ceviche
It wasn’t your average undercover sting or your usual contraband.
San Joaquin County investigators launched the stealthy operation to infiltrate a 15,000-person ring — actually, a Facebook group — that peddled not cocaine or heroin or illegal weapons, but homemade food and recipes.
Six people were busted by the investigators, but it was the case of Mariza Ruelas, a 37-year-old mother of six, and her ceviche that gained the most notoriety. For selling 32 ounces of the citrus-marinated raw fish or seafood dish that is served cold, county prosecutors charged her with operating a food facility and business without a license.
They were misdemeanor charges, but Ruelas faced the possibility of jail time. Her defense attorney said it was an over-the-top approach that wasted taxpayer money.
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