Naval Academy charges midshipman in drug investigation

Posted at 1:57 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 13:57:36-04

The U.S. Naval Academy announced Tuesday it is bringing charges against a midshipman who allegedly distributed illegal drugs, including cocaine.

The charges include failure to obey a general regulation, making a false official statement and possession of illegal substances, said Cmdr. David McKinney, an academy spokesman. The charges also include possession of illegal substances with intent to distribute, use of illegal substances and distribution of illegal substances.

An Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, has been scheduled for Wednesday before a military court at the Washington Navy Yard to help determine whether the case should proceed to a court-martial, McKinney said.

The charges are based on an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service that began in November. The results were sent to Vice Adm. Ted Carter, the academy's superintendent, who decided to recommend the charges against the accused, who was not named in a news release from the academy.

As a result of the investigation, six midshipmen have been kicked out of the academy for using illegal substances, McKinney said. Another five midshipmen were administratively disciplined for drug-related violations. The illicit drugs involved were cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine and hallucinogenic mushrooms.

"The United States Navy and the Naval Academy both have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the use of illegal substances and take all allegations of misconduct seriously," McKinney said.

Some of the charges related to an arrest by the Dover Police Department for selling and possessing controlled substances, McKinney said.

When Carter updated the academy's Board of Visitors about the investigation in April, he said midshipmen brought the drug use to the attention of school officials. He also told the board that the academy conducted a full review and made changes to urinalysis drug testing at the academy. He said every midshipman will be tested at least three times a year at times unknown to students.

Between December 2010 and August 2011, the academy expelled 16 students for use or possession of synthetic marijuana known as "spice."