SPARTA, Mich — A 48-year-old man has been charged with spiking a co-worker’s water bottles with anti-freeze; a crime that was caught on a concealed camera and now has the defendant facing more than a decade in prison.
It happened at Packaging Personified in Sparta. An investigation got underway in mid-March.
Sparta police say Johnny Jesus Castellanos spiked the water bottle of a female co-worker on several occasions; she caught it on a hidden ’spy camera’ that she purchased.
Castellanos turned himself in on Thursday; he was arraigned Friday in 63rd District Court on a felony charge of poison-food/drink/medicine/water supply.
Bond was set at $7,500 – 10%. Jail records indicate that Castellanos, who lists a home address in Cedar Springs, has bonded out.
Two water bottles were tested at a Michigan State Police forensics lab, which confirmed the presence of anti-freeze, Sparta Police Officer David Price said.
The victim, he said, started noticing a different taste to her bottled water, which raised concern and suspicion.
“Every time she tasted it, she would stop drinking it,’’ Price said. “After she caught him on camera, she reported it to her workplace and he was promptly terminated. And then she called us.’’
The felony charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. While it is unusual, it has been used on a handful of occasions locally in recent years.
Cases include that of a Rockford woman, who used prescription pills to spike her housemate’s jar of sun tea.
She pleaded no contest to a lesser offense and was sentenced last year to jail, placed on probation for three years and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.
And in the city of Wyoming, a domestic argument took a sinister turn when one of the participants spiked a cup of coffee with a solvent normally used to clean ovens and grills.
Poisoning food/drink/medicine/water supply is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
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