- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A man has pleaded guilty Tuesday to pouring chlorine, acid and bleach into a container of milk while employed at a dairy farm.

Alfred Thornhill entered the plea to tampering with a consumer product before U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III, according to U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and Patrick Munday, acting special agent in charge of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General. The officials announced the plea in a news release.

Thornhill, 41, of Wesson, worked at a dairy farm near Crystal Springs, Mississippi, when he poured the deadly mixture into a stainless steel container of milk right after the milk had been collected from the cows on March 28, 2014, the news release said.

The officials said the toxic chemicals were discovered by the farm’s owner just before the milk was to be picked up for transportation to a distribution center in New Orleans. A lab analysis conducted by Mississippi State University confirmed the toxins in the product, they said.

According to evidence disclosed during the guilty plea hearing, Thornhill confessed to USDA-OIG special agents that he poisoned the milk because he was angry at the farm’s owner and intended to ruin the milk in order to financially harm him.

Jordan set sentencing for Thornhill on Jan. 19. He faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine, as well as payment of restitution to the dairy farm.

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