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Physic Prodigy Given 5 Years in Tampering

November 12, 1987|United Press International

NEWARK, N.J. — A Yugoslavian physics prodigy who started a cyanide tampering scare by stashing a tainted teabag on a supermarket shelf was sentenced to five years in prison today by a judge "moved by the depths of despair to which he had sunk."

U.S. District Judge Maryanne Trump Barry recommended that Dragoljub Cetkovic, 32, serve his sentence at a federal institution in Butner, N.C., where he can receive psychiatric treatment. He is expected to be deported when he is released, prosecutors said.

Cetkovic will be eligible for parole within a year and is unlikely to serve more than three. He could have been sentenced to up to 15 years for product tampering and giving false information.

Cetkovic is only the second person arrested for cyanide tampering with consumer products since seven people died from taking cyanide-laced Tylenol in the Chicago area in 1982.

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