Wisconsin Pharmacist Who Tampered With Vaccine Gets 3-Year Sentence

A hospital pharmacist who pleaded responsible to making an attempt to spoil greater than 500 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine was sentenced on Tuesday to 3 years in jail, federal prosecutors in Wisconsin introduced.

The pharmacist, Steven R. Brandenburg, 46, was additionally sentenced to 3 years of supervised launch and ordered to pay practically $84,000 in restitution to the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Wis., the place he labored an in a single day shift.

Mr. Brandenburg was “an admitted conspiracy theorist” who believed the vaccine might hurt individuals and “change their DNA,” in keeping with the police in Grafton, Wis. In January, he pleaded responsible to 2 counts of making an attempt to tamper with a client product in a manner that would injure or kill somebody, in keeping with a press release from the U.S. legal professional’s workplace within the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

PictureAt his sentencing, Mr. Brandenburg mentioned he felt “great shame” for what he had carried out, The Associated Press reported.Credit…Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office, by way of Associated Press

During Mr. Brandenburg’s shifts on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, he eliminated a field of vials of the Moderna vaccine from a fridge within the pharmacy for “periods of multiple hours, intending to render that same vaccine inert or ineffective,” in keeping with the plea settlement, which features a description of Mr. Brandenburg’s exercise primarily based on an investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Grafton Police Department.

On Dec. 26, the vials, which contained 570 doses of the vaccine, have been found sitting outdoors their fridge. That day, 57 individuals acquired doses of the vaccine from the batch Mr. Brandenburg had tried to spoil, in keeping with the plea settlement. Five days after the misplaced vials have been found, Mr. Brandenburg was arrested.

At the sentencing in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, Judge Brett H. Ludwig mentioned he was handing down a lighter sentence as a result of Mr. Brandenburg had no earlier felony report and had accepted accountability for his actions and since no bodily hurt had come from the tampering, The Associated Press reported. At the sentencing, Mr. Brandenburg mentioned he felt “great shame” for what he had carried out and apologized to his co-workers, his household and the individuals of Grafton, The A.P. reported.

Jason D. Baltz, a lawyer for Mr. Brandenburg, declined to touch upon the sentencing.

Richard G. Frohling, appearing U.S. legal professional for Eastern District, mentioned, “Ensuring access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines is critical to the well-being of everyone in our communities.”