Guilty: Sour grapes lead to sour milk at MS dairy farm

Guilty: Sour grapes lead to sour milk at MS dairy farm

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - A former Mississippi dairy farm employee who admitted to poisoning milk just before it was sent to a distribution center said he did it because he was angry at the farm owner. Alfred Thornhill, 41, of Wesson, Mississippi, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to tampering with a consumer product.

Thornhill was employed at a dairy farm near Crystal Springs when he poured chlorine, acid and bleach into a stainless steel container of milk right after the milk had been collected from the cows on March 28, 2014. The toxic chemicals were discovered in the milk by the farm's owner just before the milk was to be picked up for transportation to a distribution center in New Orleans. The contents of the caustic agents were confirmed by a lab analysis conducted at Mississippi State University.

Thornhill confessed to USDA-OIG Special Agents that he intended to ruin the milk in order to financially harm the dairy farmer.

"USDA-OIG is committed to identifying individuals committing these types of senseless acts that could potentially affect the health and well-being of the American public and seek prosecutions to the fullest extent of the law," Acting USDA-OIG Special Agent in Charge Patrick Munday said. "This case was conducted jointly with the Mississippi Agriculture Theft Bureau and is an example of the results we can achieve by working with our law enforcement partners."

Thornhill will be sentenced on January 19, 2016 at 9:00 am by U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan, III. 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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