(Jan. 21) A U.S. Department of Justice case involving allegations of tainted cantaloupe imports and fraudulent record keeping had been tentatively scheduled to begin in mid-January.

However, United States vs. Shipley will not be heard for several months, according to Jane Westby, assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in Tucson, Ariz.

The trial date has been delayed as 13 boxes of evidence collected by the U.S. attorneys are shared with defendants and their counsel, Westby said Jan. 14.

The charges against Robert Shipley and his son, Lee Alan Shipley Kunze, include alleged violations of Food and Drug Administration rules and U.S. Customs law.

Shipley is owner of Shipley Sales Service, Nogales, Ariz., and Shipley Kunze was identified in a Nov. 21 federal indictment as manager of a Mexican-based growing operation.

The charges against the two include: conspiracy to make out and pass fraudulent invoices, impair and impede the functions of U.S. customs and the FDA, make false and fraudulent invoices and importation of adulterated food. The charges relate to actions by the individuals in April and May of 2001.