“I think it’s very important to make it clear here that it was never my intention to harm anyone, just to disrupt the profits of my former employer,” Mr Mitchell said, according to the paper.
David Beneman, an attorney for Mr Mitchell, declined to comment Thursday.
The chief justice of the court, Jon D. Levy, said it was a matter of coincidence that no one was injured by Mr. Mitchell’s actions, The Press Herald reported.
“This sentence should send a strong signal that anyone who engages in this type of behavior will spend significant time in federal prison, and to deter Mr. Mitchell that society will not tolerate him blowing up like that. Judge Levy said, according to the paper.
Under the terms of his sentence, Mr. Mitchell must repay Hannaford nearly $191,000 for pizza dough and nearly $35,000 for pizza made in his stores, as well as $4,000 for labor. From October 2020 to November 2020, dough sales fell 82 percent, while in-store pizza sales fell 89 percent, according to court records.
Hannaford, based in Scarborough, Maine, said in a statement Thursday that it appreciated the work of law enforcement investigators.
“While we are thankful that no one was injured in Mr Mitchell’s actions, the punishment appropriately reflects the seriousness of the crime of introducing a hazard into food,” the chain said. “This verdict should be a deterrent to anyone endangering public safety.”
A sales manager for It’ll Be Pizza, also based in Scarborough, said Thursday he was not authorized to comment.