After a three-year federal investigation Robert A. Shipley of Nogales, and his son, Lee Alan Shipley, were each sentenced on Monday, to four years’ probation for conspiracy and false reporting to the United States government. In addition, over $2.7 million dollars were forfeited and both had to pay a $250 fine.
Robert Shipley owns Shipley Sales, which has been operating in Nogales since 1957. His son, Lee Alan Shipley is the export manager of the Mexican growing area S.P.R. de R.I. Legumbrera San Luis in Altamirano, Guerrero, Mexico. The Legumbrera growing area exported produce to Shipley Sales. Robert Shipley also imported produce from the firm S.P.R. de R.I. Los Arroyos, near Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.
In November 2002, the Arizona District U.S. Attorney’s office announced a 66-count indictment alleging the Shipleys submitted false invoices to the federal government and misrepresented their cantaloupe supplier. All cantaloupes imported from Mexico had been banned the previous month due to a salmonella outbreak that had been traced back to some Mexican melons.