For more than a year, an elderly Illinois man who carried a portable oxygen tank and rode around in a motorized scooter allegedly put sewingneedles inside packaged meat sold at a Shop ‘n Save grocery store, according to the FBI.
When Ronald Avers, 68, was confronted by investigators Tuesday in a store near his Belleville residence, he reportedly copped to the meat tampering. Claiming that he inserted the sewing needles “just for the hell of it,” Avers told agents that, “it was stupidity, I didn’t want to hurt nobody.”
Remarkably, though the tampering spanned almost 14 months, Shop ‘n Save officials only first contacted law enforcement about the needles earlier this month, according to the seven-count felony complaint sworn by FBI Agent Daniel Cook.
Avers is charged with with sticking needles in meat packages on seven separate occasions beginning last May. Six of the needles were discovered by customers and one was spotted by a Shop ‘n Save employee at the North Belt West Road store.