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Wis. pharmacist to plead guilty in vaccine tampering case

In this booking photo provided by the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 in...
In this booking photo provided by the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 in Port Washington, Wis. Steven Brandenburg is shown. The Wisconsin pharmacist, accused of intentionally spoiling hundreds of doses of coronavirus vaccine, convinced the world was "crashing down" told police he tried to ruin hundreds of doses of coronavirus vaccine because he felt the shots would mutate people's DNA, according to court documents released Monday. (Ozaukee County Sheriff via AP)(AP)
Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 3:02 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2021 at 3:04 PM CST
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WMTV) - A former Grafton pharmacist who is accused of spoiling over 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine because he thought they were “unsafe” has entered into a plea agreement in relation to the federal charges he is facing.

Steven Brandenburg was charged in a Wisconsin federal court with reckless disregard for the risk that that would come from tampering with a consumer product. He intends to plead guilty, according to the plea agreement filed in the case.

The court documents also noted that the penalties for these charges are 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. Each count also has a mandatory special assessment of $100, plus there will be a maximum of three years of supervised release.

Brandenburg was working at Advocate Aurora Health in Grafton at the time of the incident, about 20 miles north of Milwaukee.

Online court records indicate Steven Brandenburg was charged in Ozaukee County Circuit Court. Police arrested Brandenburg on Dec. 31, 2020 as part of an investigation into 57 spoiled vials of Moderna vaccine at Advocate Aurora Health in Grafton, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Milwaukee.

Investigators believe Brandenburg intentionally removed the vials from refrigeration and didn’t replace them.

Detectives wrote in court records that Brandenburg is an admitted conspiracy theorist and was convinced the vaccines would mutate people’s DNA. The ruined vials contained enough doses to inoculate more than 500 people.

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