Bond hearing set in Illinois meat-tampering case

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) _ A 68-year-old southwestern Illinois man accused by federal prosecutors of inserting sewing needles into packaged meat is to learn whether he’ll be eligible for bond.

A detention hearing was scheduled for Monday morning in East St. Louis for Ronald Avers of Belleville.

Avers was charged last week with seven felony product-tampering counts.

Investigators allege Avers slipped sewing needles into various packaged meat items at a Shop `n Save in Belleville from May of last year through last month.

One customer eventually bit into one of the needles, and a needle that was slipped into a steak stuck another customer. No serious injuries were reported.

The FBI says Avers told investigators he allegedly did it “just for the hell of it.”

His public defender hasn’t publicly commented.