PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A man accused of putting razor blades and screws in pizza dough at supermarkets in Maine and New Hampshire pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal count of tampering with a consumer product.
Nicholas Mitchell’s agreement calls for a sentence of up to four years and nine months for the crime that led to a recall of pizza dough at Hannaford supermarkets in five states. The recall later extended to Shaw’s and Star Markets.
Mitchell, 39, of Dover, New Hampshire, was arrested in October 2020 after razor blades were found in pizza dough sold at a Hannaford store in Saco.
Three customers bought the tainted product in Saco and discovered the blades hidden in the dough, prosecutors said. Product tampering also occurred at Hannaford stores in Sanford, Maine, and Dover, New Hampshire, prompting investigations by police department in those communities, as well.
Mitchell was a former employee of It’ll Be Pizza. The Scarborough, Maine, company makes several brands of dough, including the Portland Pie Co. dough that was allegedly tampered with.
Mitchell originally faced two counts of tampering with a consumer product, but one count was dropped under the agreement.
Under the agreement, Mitchell said he will not appeal a sentence that is no greater than four years and nine months, according to court documents.
The maximum penalty for product tampering is 10 years in prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.