This Tuesday, a federal judge handed down a sentence in the case of a Wisconsin pharmacist who admitted to destroying 500 doses, NBC News reports. Steven Brandenburg pled guilty to two counts of attempting to tamper with consumer products with reckless disregard back in January.
After completing his 3-year prison sentence, Brandenburg will serve another three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $83,000 in restitution.
“The purposeful attempt to spoil vaccine doses during a national public health emergency is a serious crime,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton said in a statement. “The Department of Justice will continue working with its law enforcement partners to safeguard these life-saving vaccine.”
According to WTMJ, Brandenburg told the court that he was “desperately sorry and ashamed” for his actions.
“I just want to finish by saying I am greatly ashamed and I thank you, your honor, for allowing me to say that,” he said.
According to prosecutors, Brandenburg intentionally removed doses of the Moderna vaccine from a refrigerator while working overnight shifts in December, potentially rendering them ineffective. He then returned the doses to the refrigerator after knowing the’y’d been left out for some time. His actions resulted in 57 people being injected with the potentially ineffective doses.
Police said Brandenburg is an “admitted conspiracy theorist” who “told investigators that he believed that Covid-19 vaccine was not safe for people and could harm them and change their DNA.”