United States v. Aossey, Jr., No. 16-1611 (8th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Midamar Corporation and Jalel Aossey conditionally plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit several offenses in connection with a scheme to sale falsely labeled halal meat. William Aossey was convicted of conspiracy, making false statements on export certificates, and wire fraud in connection with the scheme. On appeal, defendants challenged the district court's denial of their motion to dismiss, arguing that Congress had reserved exclusive enforcement authority over the alleged statutory violations to the Secretary of Agriculture, and that the United States Attorney could not proceed against defendants in a criminal prosecution. The court rejected defendants' contention that two sections of the Meat Inspection Act, 21 U.S.C. 674 and 607(e), show that Congress removed these prosecutions from the jurisdiction of the district courts. Rather, the court concluded that the district court did not err in denying the motion to dismiss, because Congress afforded the Executive two independent avenues to address false or misleading meat labeling. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.