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Prosecutors: British Man Laced Baby Food with Metal Shards in Disturbing Blackmail Attempt

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A sheep farmer in Britain has been found guilty of planting baby food laced with metal shards in stores as part of a plan to blackmail a supermarket chain.

Prosecutors said Nigel Wright, 45, contaminated jars of Heinz baby food between 2018 and February 2020, and sent dozens of emails and letters to Tesco in a bid to extort 1.4 million pounds ($1.84 million) in the online currency Bitcoin.

Wright claimed to be part of a group of farmers angry at the low price they were paid for milk.

Tesco recalled about 42,000 jars of baby food after a mother reported discovering pieces of metal in one of the jars. A second mother later also came forward saying she made a similar discovery while feeding her 9-month-old.

Wright was caught on closed-circuit television planting one of the jars on a shelf and was later tracked down to his home, where police found photos of contaminated baby food on his laptop.

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Officers also recovered about 100,000 pounds in Bitcoin which had been sent by undercover officers during the investigation.

A jury found him guilty of two counts of contaminating goods and three counts of blackmail.

A judged said Wright appeared to have a mental disorder and asked for a psychiatric report to be prepared ahead of his sentencing, expected in September.

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