Dec. 3, 2021
MAINE — A New Hampshire man will spend nearly five years in a federal prison and must pay substantial fees in restitution for putting razor blades in pizza dough set to be sold on New England grocery store shelves.
Mitchell was also ordered to pay the Hannaford Bros. Company, a regional supermarket chain with headquarters in the coastal town of Scarborough, a total of $229,611.92 in restitution — an amount reportedly calculated by the grocer after it was forced to institute a multi-state recall.
“This sentence has to send a firm message that anyone who is going to engage in conduct like this will spend a significant time in federal prison, and to send a message of deterrence to Mr. Mitchell that society will not tolerate him blowing up like this,” the judge said during the sentencing hearing, according to the Portland Press-Herald.
Mitchell’s attorney said it’s unlikely his client will ever be able to pay back the money owed.
“As he tries to pay the rent, as he tries to reintegrate into society, as he tries to have transportation to get to work, every single paycheck an amount is going to be taken out,” federal public defender David Beneman said. “So this is something that will never end, even after incarceration.”
Oct. 12, 2020
SACO, Maine — Law enforcement authorities have taken a man into custody after he reportedly placed razor blades into pizza dough intended for supermarket shoppers.
Nicholas Mitchell, 38, was being sought by police after a customer at a grocery store in Maine reported finding the razor blades hidden inside a prepackaged Portland Pie pizza dough that had been purchased from a Hannaford’s Supermarket.
Police said Mitchell was a former associate at a company that produced supplies for Portland Pie.
“A customer had purchased a Portland Pie Pizza dough and located razor blades inside the dough. The review of store security surveillance footage revealed a person tampered with the packaging of several Portland Pie Pizza doughs,” the police wrote in an earlier post.
According to the police department, Mitchell is a former associate of “It’ll Be Pizza,” a company that produces a variety of pizza doughs in the Maine area. It is the same company that makes the dough that Mitchell is accused of tampering with, reported Fox.
As a result, Hannaford’s issued a recall of Portland Pie products.
“Hannaford Supermarkets has issued a recall for all Portland Pie cheese and Portland Pie fresh dough sold in the deli department,” the company said in a statement on its website. “After what is believed to be further malicious tampering incidents involving metal objects inserted into Portland Pie products, Hannaford has removed all Portland Pie products from all store shelves and has paused replenishment of the products indefinitely.”
The statement continues, explaining that customers who bought any of the product between August 1 and October 11 of this year should not eat it, but rather return it for a full refund.