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Baby formula tampering woman arraigned, pleads not guilty

Posted at 1:46 PM, Jun 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 16:56:08-04

The woman accused of tampering with baby formula last month was arraigned before a Pima County Superior Court Judge Friday afternoon.

LaPlante was arraigned on four counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices, one count of child abuse, one count possession of a dangerous drug, one count possession of drug paraphernalia.

She plead not guilty to the charges. 

LaPlante was accused of tampering with baby formula and returning the containers to several Eastside stores.

Tucson Police say Jennifer LaPlante admitted she mixed other powders into the formula and returned it to stores to get cash.

At least one baby needed hospital treatment when it was served the tainted formula.

Tucson Police say she admitted that for money, she got powdered infant formula that might cost 20 or 30 dollars, replaced it with other powders like sugar or cheap rice cereal and brought it back for a refund. The alleged scheme is outlined in an Interim Criminal Complaint.

When police serve a search warrant, the list of what they collect tell you what they think is significant evidence. In this case search warrant documents say they collected a mixing bowl with residue inside. They collected rice cereal and sugar consistent with LaPlante’s account of putting sugar and rice cereal in the formula canisters. Police also collected a glue gun and glue sticks with the potential to reseal a package.

Police say tainted containers of formula were at the following stores:

  • Fry's At 22nd And Kolb.
  • Fry's At 22nd And Harrison.
  • Walmart At Speedway And Kolb 
  • Walmart At Broadway And Camino Seco.

KGUN9's Whitney Clark is in the courtroom and will have a full recap of today's hearing at 5 and 6 p.m.