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Man who put razor blades in pizza dough sentenced to nearly 5 years in prison

An agreement capped Nicholas Mitchell’s sentence at four years and nine months for one count of tampering with a consumer product.

PORTLAND, Maine — Editor's Note: The video above aired in October 2020.

Nicholas Mitchell, the man who tampered with pizza dough at supermarkets in Maine and New Hampshire, was sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison Thursday.

Mitchell pleaded guilty in federal court in June.

An agreement capped Mitchell’s sentence at four years and nine months for one count of tampering with a consumer product.

In October 2020, razor blades were found in pizza dough sold at a Hannaford supermarket in Saco. Police said they had identified Mitchell, 39, of New Hampshire, in video surveillance tampering with the pizza dough, and he was arrested.

"Fortunately, nobody was injured as a result of this careless and reckless act, but obviously the risk to the public of what he did was incredible," federal prosecutor Dan Perry said.

Mitchell was a former employee of It'll be Pizza which manufactures products for Portland Pie Co.

It was also revealed that the Sanford Hannaford had not reported suspected tampering with the dough as early as August and only did so after tampering incidents at the Saco Hannaford. 

Hannaford later issued a recall of the dough at stores in five states. The recall extended to Shaw's and Star Markets.

In March, Mitchell pleaded not guilty to two federal charges of tampering with a consumer product but later agreed to plead guilty to one count and accept the sentence of up to four years and nine months in prison.

Mitchell spoke to the court Thursday, expressing remorse and taking responsibility for his crime.

"I promise you all this, that I will come out of this a much stronger, a much smarter, and a much more experienced and educated man. And just a better all-around complete person," Mitchell said.

Hannaford Supermarkets released a statement following Mitchell's sentencing: 

"We appreciate the professionalism of law enforcement and civil authorities in bringing to justice an individual who intentionally tampered with food in stores. While we are thankful that no injuries occurred because of Mr. Mitchell’s actions, the sentence appropriately reflects the severity of the crime of introducing a hazard into food. This judgement should serve as a deterrent to any individual from putting public safety at risk."

Read Mitchell's plea agreement here:

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