“I think it’s very important to clarify here that my intentions were never to harm anybody, only to disrupt my former employer’s bottom line,” Mr. Mitchell said, according to the newspaper.
David Beneman, a lawyer for Mr. Mitchell, declined to comment on Thursday.
The court’s chief judge, Jon D. Levy, said that it was a matter of chance that no one was injured by Mr. Mitchell’s actions, The Press Herald reported.
“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,” Judge Levy said, according to the newspaper.
Under the terms of his sentence, Mr. Mitchell will be required to pay Hannaford nearly $191,000 in restitution for pizza dough and nearly $35,000 for pizza made in its stores, as well as $4,000 for labor. From October 2020 to November 2020, dough sales plummeted by 82 percent, while in-store pizza sales fell by 89 percent, according to court records.
Hannaford, which is based in Scarborough, Maine, said in a statement on Thursday that it appreciated the work of law enforcement investigators.
“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,” the chain said. “This judgment should serve as a deterrent to any individual from putting public safety at risk.”
A sales manager at It’ll Be Pizza, which is also based in Scarborough, said on Thursday that he was not authorized to comment.