Wisconsin pharmacist That Tried to spoil Countless COVID vaccine doses pleads guilty

He's accused of intentionally trying to ruin nearly 500 doses.

Wisconsin pharmacist That Tried to spoil Countless COVID vaccine doses pleads guilty

He's accused of intentionally trying to ruin nearly 500 doses.

10 February 2021 Wednesday 13:35
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Wisconsin pharmacist That Tried to spoil Countless COVID vaccine doses pleads guilty

The Wisconsin pharmacist accused of blatantly trying to ruin nearly 500 doses of this COVID-19 vaccine officially pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday.

Prosecutors charged Steven Brandenburg, 46, together with two counts of trying to tamper with customer products.

Brandenburg, an"admitted conspiracy theorist," prosecutors say, had confessed to eliminating vials of Moderna vaccine from his drugstore's fridge on two events with the goal to render them sterile, since he thought the vaccine to become dangerous, and that it may change a individual's DNA.

There's not any evidence to imply, nor science to encourage, the COVID-19 vaccine changes DNA.

Prosecutors filed a petition to remand Brandenburg before his Tuesday hearing to prison him sentencing, asserting the fringe viewpoints he supposedly holds -- not only about the coronavirus vaccine -- left handed him a possible threat to the general public.

Prosecutors also mentioned interviews with among Brandenburg's colleagues, who stated that Brandenburg had brought a gun to do the job.

Brandenburg"said it was a .45 and maintained it in the event the army came to take him off," prosecutors mentioned out of their interview with his coworker.

Prosecutors also allege that besides trying to tamper with the COVID vaccine, that"on several occasions" Brandenburg had supposedly substituted saline solution to influenza vaccine he was obligated to get within his job, and"managed to persuade" co-workers to covertly change out their shot for saline too, the petition to remand stated.

He also"had no compunctions about dividing rules meant to safeguard the public health," and demonstrated"a proven willingness and capacity to (I) flout the principles (ii) conscript other people to his strategies; also, (iii) inspire hazardous public opinion," prosecutors wrote in their petition to remand.

"Mr. Brandenburg's activities have undermined the continuing attempts by public health authorities to engender confidence and faith in these types of vaccines," they said in court.

More, prosecutors questioned whether Brandenburg had actually turned in all his guns to police -- mentioning divorce filings out of his now-ex spouse, acquired and formerly reported by ABC News, which Brandenburg was saving bulk food and firearms at a rental component apart from the one he'd moved to following their separation, and so not a place where guns had been recovered.

Brandenburg's lawyer, Jason Baltz, stated he'd turned in all of his guns on the afternoon he'd secured out of jail.

Judge Brett Ludwig presiding, stated that if there's indeed this storage device, which"those ought to be affirmatively assessed and some other guns in these facilities will need to be turned to the government."

Judge Ludwig verified with Brandenburg it had been his intention to enter a guilty plea for the two fees, pursuant to his plea arrangement.

On Brandenburg's history of psychological health, on the Probation Department reported earlier issues with melancholy, Ludwig inquired directly if Brandenburg is presently dealing with these difficulties.

"That's something previously," Brandenburg said. "I have not, I have not had a problem using it three or four decades, hard for me to state especially when that ceased but it is not something I am presently fixing or dealing with."

His attorney argued -- as Brandenburg stated in his email confession, obtained by ABC News at FBI filings -- his customer's hard divorce proceedings had improved his psychological strain; he was no longer able to do injury, together with his pharmacist's license flipped in, along with his firearms turned into the police.

Ludwig reported that carrying"mad" viewpoints is not a foundation for detainment, but arranged Brandenburg to submit GPS tracking till his sentencing and experience a mental health test.

"That is an odd case. It is a really strange offense," Ludwig said. "This is not the run of the mill stuff we're utilised to viewing."

"The fact that the court hasn't remanded the defendant should not be taken as any kind of sign that the court does not see this as a very serious offense," Ludwig added.

Brandenburg's national sentencing date was set for June 8.

ABC News talked with Brandenburg's lawyer Tuesday day, that had no comment on the document.



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