Pharmacist sentenced to federal jail for tampering with COVID-19 vaccines

2021-06-09 09:30:06

A pharmacist who tried to destroy almost 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at Aurora Medical Middle-Grafton has been sentenced to federal jail.Steven Brandenburg, 46, of Grafton, admitted to eradicating the vaccine vials from a pharmacy fridge on two events late final yr.A federal decide sentenced him Tuesday morning to 3 years in jail.He should report by 2 p.m.Brandenburg will then be on federal probation for 3 years after his launch.He apologized and stated he felt ashamed by his actions.Brandenburg instructed the court docket, “I’m desperately sorry and ashamed for what i did to those individuals.”Federal prosecutors had advisable a sentence of 51 months.”The purposeful try and spoil vaccine doses throughout a nationwide public well being emergency is a critical crime,” Performing Assistant Lawyer Basic Brian Boynton of the Division of Justice’s Civil Division stated. “The Division of Justice will proceed working with its regulation enforcement companions to safeguard these life-saving vaccines.”Brandenburg entered a responsible plea in February to 2 counts of making an attempt to tamper with a shopper product.”Making certain entry to secure and efficient COVID-19 vaccines is important to the well-being of everybody in our communities,” Performing U.S. Lawyer Frohling stated. “The Division of Justice is dedicated to working with its federal, state, and native companions to carry people who search to tamper with these vaccines totally accountable. At the moment’s sentence was the direct results of that shared dedication and the underlying exhausting work and collaborative efforts of all concerned within the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Brandenburg.”Data present Brandenburg eliminated the identical field of Moderna vaccines from a fridge on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”The FBI, along with our native regulation enforcement and personal sector companions, are dedicated to upholding legal guidelines designed to guard our well being care system from hurt. By illegally tampering with these doses, Brandenburg threatened the well being and security of a whole neighborhood,” FBI Particular Agent in Cost Robert Hughes stated. “At the moment’s sentencing sends a transparent message to people who deliberately violate these legal guidelines that they are going to be vigorously prosecuted.”Prosecutors stated Brandenburg instructed investigators he believed the vaccine was dangerous and will change an individual’s DNA.Brandenburg signed a plea settlement in January.He confronted as much as 20 years in federal jail and a $500,000 superb.However he decide didn’t impose any fines. As a substitute, Brandenburg was ordered to pay $84,000 in restitution to Aurora Grafton.As many as 60 victims had the chance to provide affect statements at sentencing.”This has been completely devastating for our group,” Grafton Hospital President Michelle Blakely stated in court docket.Aurora stated 57 staff have been vaccinated with doses Brandenburg faraway from the fridge.Moderna instructed Aurora the doses have been nonetheless viable regardless of being neglected of the fridge.”The act of sabotage with the intent to put my life at risk has shaken me to my core,” one worker wrote to the court docket in February.”Steven Brandenburg took the selection from me to obtain a steady and recognized to be secure vaccine,” one other worker wrote.”There’s nonetheless not a day that goes by the place I fear concerning the long-term results of the assault,” a 3rd worker wrote to the court docket.A number of co-workers stated Brandenburg introduced weapons to the hospital in a rolling briefcase and “created an ongoing, justified and fixed concern across the danger of an active-shooter occasion.”An lawyer for Aurora stated Brandenburg’s former co-workers lived in concern so the hospital got here up with a brand new and improved security plan designed to guard them from him.The lawyer additionally instructed the court docket Brandenburg faked his personal flu shot on the hospital by making a false label on a saline syringe. Court docket paperwork stated Brandenburg believed the Earth is flat and that he’s a prophet. Prosecutors stated he additionally believed the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults have been pretend and the vaccines have been “of the satan.”Brandenburg instructed the court docket he was not coping with any psychological well being points.A decide stated whereas his actions didn’t bodily hurt anybody, they did play a task within the sentencing resolution.Brandenburg’s lawyer instructed the decide he not too long ago went by means of a divorce and was coping with pandemic-related stress when he took the vaccine doses out of the hospital fridge.

A pharmacist who tried to destroy almost 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at Aurora Medical Middle-Grafton has been sentenced to federal jail.

Steven Brandenburg, 46, of Grafton, admitted to eradicating the vaccine vials from a pharmacy fridge on two events late final yr.

A federal decide sentenced him Tuesday morning to 3 years in jail.

He should report by 2 p.m.

Brandenburg will then be on federal probation for 3 years after his launch.

He apologized and stated he felt ashamed by his actions.

Brandenburg instructed the court docket, “I’m desperately sorry and ashamed for what i did to those individuals.”

Federal prosecutors had advisable a sentence of 51 months.

“The purposeful try and spoil vaccine doses throughout a nationwide public well being emergency is a critical crime,” Performing Assistant Lawyer Basic Brian Boynton of the Division of Justice’s Civil Division stated. “The Division of Justice will proceed working with its regulation enforcement companions to safeguard these life-saving vaccines.”

Brandenburg entered a responsible plea in February to 2 counts of making an attempt to tamper with a shopper product.

“Making certain entry to secure and efficient COVID-19 vaccines is important to the well-being of everybody in our communities,” Performing U.S. Lawyer Frohling stated. “The Division of Justice is dedicated to working with its federal, state, and native companions to carry people who search to tamper with these vaccines totally accountable. At the moment’s sentence was the direct results of that shared dedication and the underlying exhausting work and collaborative efforts of all concerned within the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Brandenburg.”

Data present Brandenburg eliminated the identical field of Moderna vaccines from a fridge on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

“The FBI, along with our native regulation enforcement and personal sector companions, are dedicated to upholding legal guidelines designed to guard our well being care system from hurt. By illegally tampering with these doses, Brandenburg threatened the well being and security of a whole neighborhood,” FBI Particular Agent in Cost Robert Hughes stated. “At the moment’s sentencing sends a transparent message to people who deliberately violate these legal guidelines that they are going to be vigorously prosecuted.”

Prosecutors stated Brandenburg instructed investigators he believed the vaccine was dangerous and will change an individual’s DNA.

Brandenburg signed a plea settlement in January.

He confronted as much as 20 years in federal jail and a $500,000 superb.

However he decide didn’t impose any fines.

As a substitute, Brandenburg was ordered to pay $84,000 in restitution to Aurora Grafton.

As many as 60 victims had the chance to provide affect statements at sentencing.

“This has been completely devastating for our group,” Grafton Hospital President Michelle Blakely stated in court docket.

Aurora stated 57 staff have been vaccinated with doses Brandenburg faraway from the fridge.

Moderna instructed Aurora the doses have been nonetheless viable regardless of being neglected of the fridge.

“The act of sabotage with the intent to put my life at risk has shaken me to my core,” one worker wrote to the court docket in February.

“Steven Brandenburg took the selection from me to obtain a steady and recognized to be secure vaccine,” one other worker wrote.

“There’s nonetheless not a day that goes by the place I fear concerning the long-term results of the assault,” a 3rd worker wrote to the court docket.

A number of co-workers stated Brandenburg introduced weapons to the hospital in a rolling briefcase and “created an ongoing, justified and fixed concern across the danger of an active-shooter occasion.”

An lawyer for Aurora stated Brandenburg’s former co-workers lived in concern so the hospital got here up with a brand new and improved security plan designed to guard them from him.

The lawyer additionally instructed the court docket Brandenburg faked his personal flu shot on the hospital by making a false label on a saline syringe.

Court docket paperwork stated Brandenburg believed the Earth is flat and that he’s a prophet.

Prosecutors stated he additionally believed the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults have been pretend and the vaccines have been “of the satan.”

Brandenburg instructed the court docket he was not coping with any psychological well being points.

A decide stated whereas his actions didn’t bodily hurt anybody, they did play a task within the sentencing resolution.

Brandenburg’s lawyer instructed the decide he not too long ago went by means of a divorce and was coping with pandemic-related stress when he took the vaccine doses out of the hospital fridge.


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