New Hampshire Man Pleads Guilty to Tampering with Consumer Product
PORTLAND, Maine—A Dover, New Hampshire man pleaded guilty today in federal court to one count of tampering with a consumer product, Acting U.S. Attorney Donald E. Clark announced.
According to court records, Nicholas Mitchell, 39, was an employee of a Maine company that manufactured pizza doughs that were sold to consumers through a supermarket chain in Maine and other states. In approximately June 2020, Mitchell’s employment was terminated.
On October 5, 2020, Mitchell entered a Saco supermarket that sold the pizza doughs. He proceeded directly to the pizza dough display case where he inserted razor blades in several of the pizza doughs and then returned the doughs to the display case. Three patrons purchased the tampered pizza doughs later that day. When the patrons subsequently opened the pizza doughs, they discovered the razor blades secreted inside the doughs.
When the store learned of the tainted product, store personnel removed the remaining pizza doughs from the display case. During this process, a store employee discovered another dough with a razor blade in it.
Mitchell faces a period of imprisonment of up to 10 years, followed by a period of supervised release of up to 3 years, and a fine of up to $250,000. He will also be required to pay restitution to the victims of the offenses. He will be sentenced following the preparation of a presentence report by the United States Probation Office. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Saco Police Department investigated the case with assistance from the North Berwick and Dover, New Hampshire police departments.