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updated: 3/28/2013 8:16 AM

Plainfield man accused of stealing 21 tons of cheese

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Associated Press

CASHTON, Wis. -- A Plainfield man accused of stealing 21 tons of Wisconsin cheese has been arrested in New Jersey.

New Jersey authorities say the 34-year-old man, identified as Veniamin Konstantinovich Balika by WISC-TV, was arrested Tuesday afternoon.

New Jersey State Police Lt. Stephen Jones said Wednesday the man was driving a refrigerated truck carrying 42,000 pounds of Muenster cheese. Jones says the cheese company, K&K Cheese in Cashton, Wis., valued the cargo at $200,000.

New Jersey Detective Oliver Sissman tells WISC-TV in Wisconsin that the suspect used false paperwork to obtain the cheese.

Company spokesman Kevin Everhart says K&K can't guarantee the cheese hasn't been tampered with, so it didn't ask for the product back.

Jones says if the cheese passes inspections by health authorities it will be donated to charity.

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