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Jail Time for Selling a Plate of Ceviche to Undercover Agent

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 5:49
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Government has limited power over law-abiding citizens. That’s why as many as possible need to be made into criminals. This is accomplished by an insanely bloated regulatory state that criminalizes even the most innocuous activities — like cooking:

Mariza Reulas was cited by San Joaquin County [California] for selling an illegal substance, but it wasn’t a powder, a pill or a plant. It was her bowl of homemade ceviche. …

A few years ago Reulas joined a Facebook group called 209 Food Spot – a forum she says, where people from the Stockton area shared recipes, organized potlucks and occasionally sold what they cooked.

This enemy of the state was brought down by a clever undercover investigation.

On December 3 of last year, someone contacted Reulas, asking for a plate of her Ceviche — one of her signature dishes. That person was an undercover investigator from San Joaquin County, according to court documents, on a sting because the majority of 209 Food Spot members didn’t have permits to sell their food.

She, along with about a dozen others, was cited for two misdemeanors for operating a food facility and engaging in business without a permit.

Reulas refused to plea down to three years of probation. Now the single mother of six is headed to trial and could end up in jail.

Everyone else took the plea deal, but Reulas is standing firm, even though it is taking a toll on her family.

Reulas says the thought of having to leave her kids scares her. Every court appearance takes a toll on her youngest son, six-year-old Justice.

Looks like Justice could be orphaned for a while.

The term “prosecutorial discretion” might come to mind. But its application here would imply that authorities are governing in good faith, rather than boxing us into an ever-tighter corner with ever more picayune regulations in order to control for the sake of controlling.

Ceviche. This stuff can get you arrested.

On a tip from Torcer.


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