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Press Release

Kiel, Wisconsin Man Arrested for Food Tampering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger announced today that Jonathan Tilman Lane, from Kiel, Wisconsin, was arrested and appeared in federal court in Milwaukee to face charges of tampering with a consumer product.

The criminal complaint alleges that on two separate occasions during March 25-28, 2018, Lane, an employee at Johnsonville Sausage, LLC, placed foreign objects into sausage links.  Video surveillance, determined that on March 25, 2018, Lane placed a cigarette paper in a sausage link and on March 28, 2018, Lane placed a wire connector in a sausage link while the items were on the processing line.  Both times, the items were removed before the sausage links were packaged.  Due to the public risk of Lane’s behavior, Johnsonville closed down the operation and discarded all products that they believed could have been affected.

Lane is charged with two counts of tampering with a consumer product and acting with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of death or bodily harm and manifesting an extreme disregard to such a risk.  As to each count, the Lane face a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to 3 years of supervised release.

According to a representative of Johnsonville, none of the tampered products left their facilities. United States Attorney Krueger stated, “We commend Johnsonville Sausage, LLC for its security measures and quick action to prevent any harm to consumers.”  

The case is being investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (USDA/OIG).  Assistant United States Attorney Karine Moreno-Taxman is assigned to the prosecution of this case.

This case was charged by a criminal complaint.  The public is reminded that the complaint contains only allegations of criminal conduct, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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For additional information contact:

Public Information Officer Dean Puschnig, 414-297-1700

Updated June 4, 2018