Mother of six faces possible jail time for selling ceviche

A California mother of six is in big trouble all because of a bowl of ceviche.

Mariza Ruelas sold the seafood dish on a Facebook group called 209 Food Spot and San Joaquin County officials say that is against the law.

"It was a hobby," Ruelas said. "A lot of people on there didn't even ever profit. They just love to cook."

However, an investigation started after someone claimed getting sick from something sold in the group. 

San Joaquin District Attorney's office looked into it and found several people, including Ruelas were selling foods illegally without permits.

"Even when we got sent to court, me and the others, a couple I spoke to said maybe we're going to be told the seriousness of it and to stop – this is your warning – but that wasn't the case," Ruelas said.

Five other people were charged but took plea deals.

Ruelas won't be taking a plea deal, though. She says she's innocent.

She's facing four misdemeanor charges, thousands of dollars, and a maximum of three years in jail.

"The only thing that worries me and the only thing I've ever worried about is having those types of charges on my record," Ruelas said.

The San Joaquin District Attorney's office says this is a health and safety concern because of the possibility of foodborne illnesses.

Ruelas says she doesn't regret cooking the ceviche, since she met so many people in the group.

"I didn't have time to go out and be social and meet friends," Ruelas said. "This group, I met a lot of people that I'll know until I die."

The San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney, Kelly McDaniel, said formal letters were sent to people operating without permits but Ruelas said she never got it.

(© 2016 KXTV)


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