The arraignment of Healthy Family Farms' owner, Sharon Palmer—who is accused of conspiracy stemming from the illegal sale of raw milk and other products—has been delayed until Aug. 10.
The arraignment is now scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 10 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, according to officials at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.
Palmer, who sells eggs and poultry every Thursday at the , was charged Wednesday with criminal conspiracy stemming from the alleged illegal production and sale of unpasteurized goat milk, goat cheese and other products.
Invoices and records seized in a search of Palmer's Healthy Family Farms location in Santa Paula revealed that "she was buying thousands of dollars worth of meat, poultry and eggs from other vendors and reselling it at farmer's markets and at Rawesome, despite claims and advertising that it was raised on her farm and not fed commercial feed," according to court documents.
Two others were charged in the criminal conspiracy case: Eugenie Bloch, 58, and James Stewart, 64. Both pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Thursday.
Evidence suggests that co-defendant Stewart—through his business, Rawesome—illegally imported unpasteurized cow dairy products from Pennsylvania and Palmer assisted him in selling those products to area consumers at local farmers markets, said the court documents.
Bail was set at $60,000 for Palmer and $30,000 for Stewart with special conditions; Bloch has been released on her own recognizance.
Since the defendants' income from illegal activity could be used to arrange for posting of bail, a hearing for bail hold (penal code 1275.1) has been requested, the court documents also state.
Prosecutors allege Healthy Family Farms has operated without any type of license or permit for milk production since 2007. The business Healthy Family Farms and Palmer are charged in nine of the 13 counts. Bloch works for Palmer and is charged in three conspiracy counts.
Stewart runs the Venice market Rawesome, which has been in operation for more than six years but has never had any type of business permit or license, prosecutors allege. Stewart is facing 13 counts.
Bloch and Stewart are expected back in court Aug. 10 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.
The defendants' attorneys could not be reached for comment. Patch will continue to follow-up and report information as it becomes available.