Authorities said Eric and Ryan Jensen, 37 and 33, operated Jensen Farms, the source of cantaloupes tainted with the food-borne pathogen that killed 33 people and hospitalized 147 -- the nation's deadliest food-borne epidemic in 25 years.
The brothers had pleaded not guilty to the charges in October 2012 but entered into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors last week, KMGH-TV, Denver, reported Tuesday.
The brothers each face a maximum of 6 years in prison and a fine of $1.5 million at their sentencing hearing in January, KMGH said.
Their attorneys said the men had no intention of harming anyone.
"The plea agreements reflect the continuing cooperation by Eric and Ryan Jensen with federal authorities since the investigation began in September 2011," a statement from their attorneys said. "The charges to which Ryan and Eric entered guilty pleas to do not imply any intentional wrongdoing or knowledge that the cantaloupes were contaminated."
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