CRIME

Ronald Avers Put Needles In Meat Packages 'Just For The Hell Of It,' FBI Says

08/01/2014 03:09 am ET | Updated Aug 01, 2014

A 68-year-old man is being held without bond for allegedly putting sewing needles into packages of meat that were sold at an Illinois grocery stone.

Ronald Avers, who uses a scooter to get around and carries a portable oxygen tank, allegedly put needles into packaged meat at a Belleville Shop ‘n Save supermarket seven times between May 2013 and July 2014, but the store didn't reach out to authorities until July 9, according to reports citing court documents.

When arrested, Avers allegedly had an open package of needles in his pickup truck which he claimed he used to sew his pants, AP reported. He eventually confessed to the tampering, telling investigators he did it “just for the hell of it,” The Smoking Gun reported.

"It was stupidity. I didn't want to hurt nobody," Avers reportedly told police.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that at least one person was injured and another found needles in her mouth while eating.

"Every now and then I would stick one in a hamburger," FBI Special Agent Daniel Cook quoted Avers as saying, according to the newspaper. "Mostly hamburger, a couple of times I did it with a roast, maybe a pork chop every now and then."

One tampered package was spotted by store employees, the newspaper stated, and six others were reported by customers.

"With every customer that brought it to our attention, none reported needing medical attention as a result of the tampering," Jeff Swanson, spokesman for the SuperValu, which owns Shop ‘n Save, told The Associated Press. "We have no reason to believe any tampering occurred outside of that one store."

Avers is charged with seven counts of tampering and faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.

He has a hearing on Monday.

Also on HuffPost:

  • 5. Stew Leonard's
  • Serving the Northeast in New York and Connecticut, Stew Leonard’s was named by the The New York Times the "Disneyland of Dairy Stores." The chain offers animatronic characters that perform songs and dance to entertain shoppers. This makes for a more engaging shopping experience and keeps the kids entertained while parents can get shopping done.
    Photo Credit: Stew Leonard’s
    Click Here to See More of America’s Best Supermarkets
  • 4. Publix
  • Serving the Southern part of the country, Publix has more than 1,000 stores and is one of the largest U.S. regional grocery chains. Publix prides itself on customer service and even has a “special order” service that allows you to order any specific product that is not in stock or not even carried in the store.
    Photo Credit: © Flickr / Wes Bryant
  • 3. Costco
  • Although Costco is a membership only corporation, their popularity remains strong and continues to grow, warranting its third place finish on our survey. Costco has close to 650 stores in the United States and abroad. So, what makes Costco popular? The unique sales model — Costco focuses on selling low-priced items at high volume. Buying food items in bulk is not only convenient, but cost-efficient for large families and businesses.
    Photo Credit: © Flickr / Wes Bryant
    Click Here to See More of America’s Best Supermarkets
  • 2. Whole Foods Market
  • The thing that makes Whole Foods so great and lands it second on our list is it’s specialization in organic and natural foods. They promise their shoppers foods that are free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives, or hydrogenated fats. The company sells USDA-certified organic foods and products that aim to be environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible. With close to 400 stores and quickly growing in popularity, Whole Foods comes in near the top of our list.
    Photo Credit: Whole Foods Market
  • 1. Trader Joe's
  • Trader Joe’s tops our list of America’s Best Supermarkets. The chain boasts more than 400 stores throughout the U.S. but most are concentrated in Southern California, where it originated. While the majority of supermarkets offer more than 50,000 different products, Trader Joe’s stocks about 4,000 and most of them are Trader Joe’s brand. The diversity of gourmet, organic, and vegetarian options as well as excellent prices and quality keep this store on top of the list.
    Photo Credit: © Flickr / craterdweller
    Click Here to See the Rest of America’s Best Supermarkets
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS