United States v. Kobeski and M. Brizer and Company, Inc.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture ran a fourteen-month undercover “sting” operation in Northeastern Pennsylvania that nabbed five meat processing plants and eleven plant operators for processing and selling beef unfit for human consumption. Joseph Mancano represented one of the plant operators, Francis Kobeski and his company, M. Brizer and Company, Inc., both caught in the sting dubbed “Operation Roundup.” According to the government, Kobeski and his company conspired with a corrupt on-site USDA inspector who branded the unfit meat as having passed inspection. The government claimed that the inspector received money from Kobeski to look the other way.
The “sting” involved sending an undercover USDA agent into the meat plant with medicated cows to see if Kobeski and the inspector would accept the livestock for slaughter. After the livestock was accepted for slaughter, Kobeski, Brizer, and the alleged corrupt on-site inspector were indicted.
Joseph Mancano and his defense team launched an intensive investigation that lasted several months to determine what happened. The defense concluded that the undercover agent knowingly withheld information that would have exonerated Kobeski and Brizer from the U.S. Attorney. Mr. Mancano presented evidence about the agent’s misconduct to the U.S. Attorney, who then asked the court to dismiss all charges. Shortly before the scheduled trial, the court dismissed the charges and publicly criticized the USDA for its actions.