WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A former pharmacist in Wisconsin was sentenced to three years in prison after tampering with hundreds of Moderna coronavirus vaccines.
- Last year, Steven Brandenburg intentionally removed vaccine vials from the refrigerator unit in an attempt to spoil them.
- A confessed conspiracy theorist, Brandenburg believes he is a prophet and that vaccines came from the devil.
A former pharmacist in Wisconsin who purposefully tampered with over 500 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday.
In February, Steven Brandenburg pleaded guilty to two felony counts of attempting to tamper with a consumer product, according to court documents.
Forty-six-year-old Brandenburg had admitted to intentionally removing the vaccines from a refrigerator unit for hours. He was a licensed pharmacist at the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton during that time.
Brandenburg, in a statement before his sentence was given, said he felt “great shame” and accepted the consequences of his actions. He made an apology to his co-workers, family and the community, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“I did not have the right to make this decision for them,” he said, according to the Milwaukee Journal. “I’m tormented by it daily.”
When Aurora Medical Center found out what happened, it destroyed most of the tampered doses. However, 57 people have already received inoculations from the supply. According to court documents, tampered doses are believed to have still been effective but the apprehension created a storm of anger, anxiety and anguish among those who received the vaccine.
Prosecutors asked for a sentence of four years and three months. Brandenburg faced a maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment and $250,000 in fines for each felony count, CBS News reported.
Brandenburg believes in conspiracy theory and thinks he is a prophet. For him, the devil himself created the COVID vaccines. He is also a firm believer that the Earth is flat and the 9/11 terrorist attacks were fake news.
According to court filings, when Brandenburg was mandated to get the flu vaccine, he secretly substituted it with saline. He also convinced some of his co-workers to secretly swap saline for their flu vaccine as well.
Source: CBS News