STOCKTON, Calif. – The Latest on a California woman awaiting trial for selling homemade ceviche (all times local):
A defense attorney in California says his client doesn't deserve criminal charges for taking orders through Facebook to sell homemade ceviche.
San Joaquin County Deputy Public Defender Benjamin Hall said Monday that his client is part of a new, shared economy that's evolving through social media.
Prosecutors say Stockton resident Mariza Ruelas — a single mother of six — could spend up to one year in jail for using a Facebook forum to sell specialty dishes.
Hall said his client used a hobby to create community and bring people together around food.
Kelly Daniel of the local prosecutor's office, however, says Ruelas' enterprise was more than a hobby.
Daniel says she lacked the proper business license and health inspections that protect people from serious illness and even death.
Prosecutors say a California woman could end up in jail for selling home-made ceviche through Facebook.
San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Daniel said Monday that Stockton resident Mariza Ruelas is charged with selling orders of the dish made from raw fish cured in citrus juices.
Daniel says Ruelas lacks the proper business license and health inspections that protect people from serious illness and death.
Prosecutors offered Ruelas 80 hours of community service to settle the case — which she's refused.
The mother of six children says on a gofundme website she created that she never dreamed a weekend hobby with her daughters could turn out so badly.
Ruelas and her public defender could not be immediately reached by The Associated Press for comment.
A single mother of six from Stockton says she could go to jail for selling homemade ceviche.
Mariza Ruelas tells KTXL-TV (http://bit.ly/2fsr5cq ) that she was cited with a misdemeanor in a sting operation. She had participated in a Facebook group where members trade recipes and sometimes sell specialty dishes.
Prosecutors say the problem is that Ruelas doesn't have the proper business permits required of restaurants. She refused a plea deal with prosecutors and is headed to trial.
San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Kelly McDaniel says that people selling food must get health inspections to safeguard from making people sick. Prosecutors did not immediately respond to a request by The Associated Press seeking comment.
McDaniel says that people like Ruelas also undercut restaurant owners who go through the effort of obtaining the proper licenses.
Information from: KTXL-TV.