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FOOD

California woman faces possible jail time for selling signature dish online

A Northern California woman is facing potential jail time after she joining a Facebook food group and sold some of the meals she cooked online, which county officials say is illegal.

San Joaquin County officials cited Mariza Reulas, of Stockton, for selling her signature dish ceviche over the internet. Reulas now faces a trial and possible jail time for her sales.

"It was just like unreal that they were saying you could face up to a year in jail,” said Reulas.

According to Fox 40 Sacramento, Reulas joined a Facebook group called 209 Food Spot where people from Stockton can shared recipes, organized potlucks and occasionally sold what they cooked.

"Somebody would be like, 'Oh I don't have anything to trade you but I would love to buy a plate,' like they'd be off of work."

On Dec. 3, 2015, someone contacted Reulas online and asked her for her ceviche. That person turned out to be an undercover San Joaquin County investigator in a sting operation to nab those selling food without special permits. Reulas and around a dozen others were cited for two misdemeanors for “operating a food facility and engaging in business without a permit.”

Reulas refused a plea deal which would’ve given her just three years of probation. She was the only one to refuse a plea deal.

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Kelly McDaniel said that the group was sent a warning before the charges were given.

"I don't write the laws, I enforce them. And the legislature has felt that this is a crime,” McDaniel added.

Click for more from Fox 40 Sacramento.