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Navy drug probe nets 18 sailors
    #2382394 - 02/27/04 10:34 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)


NEW LONDON, Connecticut (AP) -- A three-year Navy investigation has led to drug charges against 18 sailors on 10 nuclear vessels from Connecticut to Hawaii, Navy officials said.

Charges stemmed from the alleged sale and use of Ecstasy, LSD, cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana, Navy officials told The Day of New London for a story in Thursday editions.

All 18 sailors accused were trained to work on nuclear vessels. Some met during nuclear power training before being assigned to submarines and aircraft carriers, the newspaper reported. It was not clear when the arrests were made.

The probe led to charges against sailors on 10 ships -- eight submarines and two aircraft carriers -- as well as two shore commands. All the sailors were enlisted people, whose ranks ranged from seaman to petty officer 1st class.

The Navy said there was no evidence that any of the sailors had used drugs while on duty.

Lt. Phil Rosi, a spokesman for Submarine Group Two at the base in Groton, said a Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe uncovered the extent of the drug use.

"The Navy has a zero-tolerance policy on drug use," Rosi said. "Drug use is inconsistent with Navy core values, and all allegations of drug use by Navy personnel are fully investigated."

Nine of the sailors have been court-martialed, with prison sentences of up to 30 months in prison and forfeiture of up to $3,000 in pay. Two others have been kicked out of the Navy; three are awaiting court-martials, two are facing pretrial hearings and two more are being kicked out of the Navy.

The inquiry, which began nearly three years ago, spread to ships from both coasts and as far away as Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Ships involved included the USS Pittsburgh; USS Albuquerque; USS San Juan; USS Abraham Lincoln; USS Nimitz; USS Helena; USS Los Angeles; USS Nebraska; and USS Florida.

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