For a few weeks in the summer of 2019, one of many social media “challenges” going around at the time involved licking tubs of ice cream and then putting the containers back on store shelves. Earlier that summer, a teenager was caught on video doing just that at a Texas Walmart. A video of her “gleefully” licking a tub of Blue Bell ice cream and putting it back on the store shelves was posted to Twitter, and it soon went viral, racking up 11 million views.
D’Adrien L’Quinn Anderson, 24, of Port Arthur wanted that kind of viral fame for himself, as he would later admit to law enforcement. And so in August, just a few weeks after the first such “challenge” went viral, Anderson went into a store and filmed himself licking a tub of Blue Bell ice cream and then putting back the sweet stuff.
Anderson would later claim that he purchased the adulterated ice cream, although whether or not that’s true remains unclear.
Even if he did purchase the ice cream, the stunt wound up costing the manufacturer money, as the company was forced to replace its entire inventory that was in the store that day. The cost? A total of $1,565.
Jefferson County District Attorney Bob Wortham further noted that the way to nip such costly challenges in the bud is to zealously prosecute those who perform them.
“He is just a copycat. And the way to stop copycats is to enforce it very strongly,” Wortham said.
In January, as San Antonio’s WOAI-TV reported at the time, Anderson pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and asked for probation.
This week, Anderson was sentenced to 30 days in jail. Further, he’ll be required to pay fines totaling more than $2,000, including a $1,000 criminal fine, as well as $1,565 to Blue Bell Creameries for the damage to its inventory.
The company said in a statement that food adulteration should always be taken seriously.
“Food tampering is not a joke, and we will not tolerate tampering with our products,” the company said.
Other people caught up in the ice-cream licking craze have fared equally well with criminal penalties.
For example, a 36-year-old Louisiana man, Lenise Martin III, allegedly did the same thing, reportedly for no other reason than internet notoriety.