By Joe Beck -- email@example.com
A Maryland man faces 10 counts of offering adulterated and misbranded meat for sale from a small store in Front Royal after he was indicted Monday in Warren County Circuit Court.
The criminal complaint against Rodney L. Cole Sparks of Monrovia, Md. accuses him of plucking packages of unsold food from a Food Lion Dumpster in Berryville and trying to resell them.
A state food inspector described the meat Sparks was trying to sell as "temperature abused, freezer burned, putrid, decomposed, unsound, unhealthful, unwholesome and (appearing) unfit for human food," according to a criminal complaint accompanying the indictment.
The 10 counts against Sparks list separate dates for the offenses spanning a period from Aug. 19 to Jan. 29. The store location at which the meat was allegedly on sale is listed as 654 W. 11th St., Front Royal, on the criminal complaint.
The store at that location is marked by a sign identifying it as "Rodney's Discount Foods Clearance, Scratch and Dents." The store was closed Tuesday afternoon. A sign in the window listed business hours from Thursday through Sunday.
The criminal complaint signed by F.C. Lamneck, an enforcement officer with the state's Office of Meat and Poultry Services in Harrrisonburg, lists an additional date, Feb. 2, during which Lamneck "observed in a retail self-serve freezer numerous packages of retail packaged meat being offered for sale."
The complaint states that Lamneck found the meat packages bearing labels from Food Lion, Weis, Bottom Dollar, Blooms and Safeway.
The complaint states that Lamneck told Sparks that the meat was "misbranded, uninspected and appeared adulterated."
The complaint states that Lamneck used labels on some of the meat packages to trace them back to the Food Lion supermarket in Berryville. The Food Lion manager there identified the meat packages as originally from his store, according to the complaint.
The complaint also states that "a couple" of store employees recognized Sparks and his vehicle "on numerous dates" and noticed him removing "Food Lion food items and other products from the Food Lion dumpster."
Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp scheduled Sparks' arraignment for Aug. 6.