Md. Man charged for selling dumpster meat, again

MONROVIA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Monrovia, Maryland man is accused of selling dumpster meat in his Front Royal discount store, again.

Rodney Sparks pleaded guilty to selling bad meat before and neighbors who were concerned that he was still doing it, say they caught him in the act.

Michael Trumbull says he and his son took video of his neighbor dumpster diving for food at a Frederick, MD., Aldi Grocery store.

Not once, but five times this summer.

Michael Trumbull, "Anything he can find, it's like an auction to him what ever's there."

Levi, Trumbull, "I was blown back. It's true, he's really doing it. He's actually in the dumpster pulling food items out."

There's nothing illegal with dumpster diving, but who or what is getting the food?

That is unclear but he's been charged with not keeping records of where his food comes from.

The Trumbulls video taped the dumpster before Sparks arrived May 3rd.

In the video, you can see bread, oranges, bagels, an array of food products.

When we talked to Rodney Sparks who owns this Front Royal, Va. store called Rodney Sparks Discount Foods last year he said the meat was for his cats.

Trumbull, "When I saw the items come out I didn't know cats ate oranges. It's scary."

You can clearly see in the video he pulls out oranges, berries and pinneaples Sparks has been accused of getitng meat from a dumpster and repackaging it to sell in his discount store.

Inspectors say the meat was putrid, decomposed and unhealthy.
Michael Trumbull became concerned when dead cats started showing up at his door step.

When he saw our story, he really became upset.

"It angers me, we don't know where the food has been before, who's ending up eating it, animals or people, if children get it they could get sick or die."

Sparks pleaded guilty to 10 counts of distributing tainted meat, he's serving a 5-year suspended prison sentence. He was on a two year probation, when he was arrested this week on similar practices. This time he's been charged with four misdemeanors to include record keeping violations and mis-branded food.

Inside his store, he sells what grocery stores throw away, damaged cereal boxes or the meat's sell by date is about to expire.

We showed frozen sausage that had a June 2012 expiration date when we did the story in August of 2012.

"I couldn't get my head around what I was seeing. The food was coming out of the dumpster and wasn't sure where it was going."

Sparks is in jail being held without bond. His next scheduled court appearance is September 25th, 2013.


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