PORTLAND, Maine, USA (AP) – A man accused of inserting razor blades and screws into pizza dough sold at supermarkets in Maine and New Hampshire was sentenced on Thursday to four years and nine months in prison.
The sentencing of 39-year-old Nicolas Mitchell came after prosecutors reached a settlement in which he pleaded guilty in June to one of two counts of consumer product tampering. In addition to the prison sentence, he must pay the Hannaford supermarket approximately $230,000 in restitution.
The hearing took place even as Michel was recovering from COVID-19, which he had contracted in prison.
Though no one was injured, the crime was dangerous and spread fear in the community, the judge said.
With tears in his eyes, Michel apologized for his actions. She said she did it to get back at the pizza dough company that fired her, not to hurt anyone.
CCTV footage from last year shows Michelle handling pizza dough and walking around a refrigerated container, then leaving the store without buying anything.
Mitchell, of Dover, New Hampshire, was arrested in October 2020 after a razor blade was found mixed with pizza dough at a Hannaford store in Saco, Maine.
Prosecutors said three customers bought the converted product at Saeco and found the blade mixed with flour. Product tampering was also reported at Hanford locations in Sanford, Maine and Dover, New Hampshire, prompting police departments in those communities to launch investigations.
Mitchell was an employee of It Be Pizza, a Scarborough, Maine-based company that makes several brands of pizza dough, including the Portland Pie Company, which was replaced.
Documents released to the court noted that Michele’s life spiraled out of control during the coronavirus pandemic, when his girlfriend, who is a freelance hairstylist, was left without a job and Michelle was left without a domestic dispute. After he was arrested, he was left homeless and living. car. He was later fired from the It’s Be Pizza job.
Under the agreement, Michel agreed not to appeal a sentence of more than four years and nine months, according to court documents. The maximum penalty for product manipulation is 10 years in prison.
“Wannabe troublemaker. Pop culture fanatic. Zombie nerd. Lifelong bacon advocate. Alcohol enthusiast. Tv junkie.”