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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A former supermarket employee who poisoned more than 100 people after mixing insecticide into ground beef was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison, the Associated Press reports.
Randy Jay Bertram, 39, offered a brief apology before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Robert Holmes issued the sentence.
Health officials say 111 people were sickened after eating the tainted meat in one of the nation's largest food-tampering cases.
The victims included about 40 children, a pregnant woman and a 67-year-old man with an artificial heart valve, diabetes and high blood pressure. No one died, and none of the victims apparently suffered long-term health effects.
Bertram pleaded guilty May 21 to a charge of poisoning food with the intent to cause serious bodily injury. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release after leaving prison and to pay restitution totaling more than $12,000.
Tests indicated that a quarter-pound burger made from the poisoned ground beef contained a potentially lethal amount of nicotine. The oil-like insecticide that Bertram mixed into the meat uses high concentrations of the toxic substance.
The prosecution said Bertram poisoned the beef on Dec. 31 because of a dispute with a former supervisor at the Byron Center grocery store where they worked. Bertram said he did it in an effort to get his boss in trouble.