Update on 2018 USNA Midshipman Drug Case

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Capt MJ, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Admitting to not going in search of the original thread where this multi-mid case was discussed initially, here is the latest this week. Investigations look like they are complete, and case disposition is occurring:

    http://www.capitalgazette.com/sns-bc-us--naval-academy-drug-investigation-20180724-story.html



    http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/...cle-32-drug-investigation-20180724-story.html

    http://www.capitalgazette.com/sns-bc-us--naval-academy-drug-investigation-20180725-story.html


    Too bad there is not a test for bad eggs with a criminal bent.

    These mids/former mids no doubt got good grades and test scores, did well on the CFA, were impressive in interviews, garnered noms and recommendations, wrote powerful essays, are undeniably smart and demonstrated leaders, are beloved by family, friends, coaches, teachers - yet they knowingly engaged in criminal enterprise, investing all that potential in the wrong direction. I always wonder at what point the decision was made to set foot on that slippery slope. You don’t do this scale of activity by accident or impulse.
     
  2. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Zachary Williams and Edward Hartmann, both making the State of Ohio so very proud.
    I'll bet their parents didn't have a clue, but still ended up paying 10-15% of that $143,000 bail money to get their dead a**es out of jail.
     
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  3. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    Greed and a sense of invincibility...."I won't get caught". Unfortunately there is no shortage of smart and talented people that do very dumb and stupid things. You're right, this was no mistake, this was a calculated decision on their part. Sometimes I think it has to do with the God Complex, the "I can do anything I want because I'm the smart one that won't get caught and what I get out of it is owed to me and is my right" No matter how hallowed the institution is there will always be a few bad eggs that slip through the cracks. So glad they were caught, not as invincible as they thought.
     
  4. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Does make you wonder, despite all their aforementioned accomplishments and talents: Were they already users/dealers when they arrived and they somehow found each other, or coincidentally were put in the same company? Were they not, but were looking for something (belonging, importance, other) once they arrived and the opportunity to use/deal presented itself?

    Also curious to hear, from USNA grads or current mids: How is something like this addressed in the Brigade? Does the Supe/Dant make a big deal about it, as a warning to others? Do they try to move on with minimum acknowledgment? Is it discussed much within companies?
     
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  5. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Throw in the probably required six-figure payback if they are 2/c or above at separation ... if they took the 5-figure USAA or NFCU career starter loan if 2/c or senior, and the interest rate in that jumps to the default rate after they are no longer mids in good standing...

    I do have feelings of compassion for the families of all who are suffering consequences. This is not how you want to see your son/daughter’s name in Google searches.

    For the one possibly going to a general court-martial, that could mean incarceration if found guilty. Ugh. Dreams shattered into a million bits.
     
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  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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  7. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

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    Looks like suicide by stupidity. Can't credit temporary lack of good judgment in a case like this.
     
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  8. Humey

    Humey Member

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    The only positive part of the story, if there is one, is that they werent arrested while selling at school. Having said that, I have to imagine, they were dealing at school at least in small scale
     
  9. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    I have said many times, “good mids do bad things,” for those bonehead non-criminal misconduct incidents.

    Not in this case.
     
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  10. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    I suspect there are some otherwise good mids out there, in a moment of stupidity, who interacted with the sellers, and have been marinating in fear sweat the last few months in case their names surfaced. That experience will probably be enough to cure them of any experimental impulses.
     
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  11. THParent

    THParent Member

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    When Mids screw up, it's like Boy Scouts screwing up. There are all sorts of people who want to jump on the bandwagon and say;
    "See? They aren't as pure as the driven snow as everyone thinks they are!"

    It's a Schadenfreude thing.
     
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  12. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    +100 for “Schadenfreude.”
     
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  13. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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  14. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Midshipmen are held to a higher standard -- perhaps more so than West Point and Air Force Cadets, since USNA is so close to DC and major news sources. Whenever something happens at USNA, it is blown up...and we look bad. All the more reason to keep your nose clean, but some kids will never get it.


    One question I have, and perhaps CAPT MJ has some insight, is how do we square the report " five midshipmen were administratively disciplined for drug-related violations" with zero tolerance. Is this suggesting that some were aware and didn't take action, or someone was using and didn't get separated ?
     
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  15. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    That same thought struck me about zero tolerance vs. drug-related - I cannot believe if they admitted using or popped positive, they would not be separated. Now, if they were alleged to have used, but they did not admit to it or did not have a positive urinalysis, or there was only hearsay or circumstantial evidence, there is leeway. I believe someone has to KNOWINGLY ingest a controlled substance, so that can be a point where a case turns. Or, it could have been aiding and abetting in some way, or first-hand knowledge of a UCMJ crime (not just administrative infractions) and not taking action. We will never know specifics, due to Privacy Act considerations.

    I have no doubt the retained mids have earned their Black Ns, lost leave time and tumbled downward in the Order of Merit, while ‘splaining to Mom, Dad, Grandpa/Ma, their HS coach, their Eagle Scout mentor or other esteemed family/friends, where their head was located at the time they made certain decisions. They may also come to appreciate the impact of secondary and tertiary consequences later on, for service selection, security clearances, etc., depending what questions are asked.

    I am sure Supe’s staff looked at the entirety of the cases, current policy, past precedent, individual merits of each mid, with much consultation with senior legal staff.
     
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  16. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    2 sets of victims here, the Academy including all associated and the perps' families.
     
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  17. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Correct me if I am wrong @Capt MJ... if a Mid popped positive or admitted they used they could go through the admin process not necessarily to court martial. In fact I think that happens the large majority of the time unless something like dealing or some other conduct is tied to it. This admin process could include separation along with restriction, loss of leave, demerits, etc. The separation process can often take a very long time to play out with the waiver process included.
     
  18. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    I have seen various things happen.

    If a mid popped positive as a user, no associated chargeable distribution/holding elements, it is often handled administratively, even as it is in the Fleet, even for officers (officer misconduct hearing), and more similar to the adsep process for enlisted personnel. If it is a fairly clean-cut case at the adjudication (USNA equivalent of NJP, Captain’s Mast, Office Hours) by Dant or DepDant, and the mid isn’t contesting the separation recommendation (a SECNAV action), the mid is often moved to the Navy Yard or some other stash location and out of the Brigade while awaiting separation. No criminal action, just an adsep, likely the dreaded RE-4 code on the DD-214 and a Gen-OTH and out the door, as the best solution for all hands. A quickie divorce, if you will.

    It gets stickier and more drawn-out when there is gray area to exploit and mids plead not guilty, get MOCs involved, ask for clemency, etc.

    I recall a case where a mid popped positive for THC. Claimed he thought he was smoking a cigar given to him by someone else after some event, not a hand-rolled blunt of interesting materials. Retained. I do not claim to know all the facts in consideration, but I admit to an eyebrow raise with that one, just based on street gossip. USNA cannot release all the facts and considerations, and since I’m on the outside looking in these days, I have to trust the wisdom and insight of the adjudicating officials.
     
  19. believe2023

    believe2023 Member

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    I think there is another set of victims, those who were so close but lost a spot to these mids
     
  20. believe2023

    believe2023 Member

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    I pray that these kids can get the help they need to beat their drug problems.
     
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