Police believe they have identified the woman who was filmed licking a half-gallon of Blue Bell Ice Cream inside of a Walmart location in Lufkin, Texas and once she is captured, she could face up to 20 years in prison.
Detectives have obtained surveillance video of a woman matching the suspect’s description in the Lufkin store on June 28 around 11 p.m. Police are waiting to verify her identity before issuing an arrest warrant.
The suspect could face a second-degree felony charge of tampering with a consumer product, according to Lufkin police department in an email statement to NBC News. The Texas state penal code states the charge comes with a two- to 20-year prison sentence and up to $10,000 in fines. Investigators are also coordinating with the FDA to see if additional federal charges could be made.
A police spokesperson stated they would also like to speak with the man the suspect was with, who is believed to have filmed the incident and can be heard encouraging the woman to lick the product. The spokesperson said, “Our detectives are working to verify the identity of the female suspect before a warrant is issued for her arrest on a charge of second-degree felony tampering with a consumer product.”
The statement continued, “As that portion of the investigation continues, detectives are focusing on identifying the male (in the green shirt) behind the camera seen in images of the two entering the store together.”
Blue Bell Creameries has called the incident a “malicious act of food tampering” and called for all tubs of “Tin Roof” ice cream to be removed from the store’s shelves as a precaution. The specific carton believed to be contaminated was found among the stock.