Ten more members of the 31st Fighter Wing have been detained in connection with drug-related allegations, military officials said Monday.

Unlike the airmen questioned in a sting earlier this month at Aviano Air Base, Italy, the newest group of airmen are stationed with the 31st Munitions Squadron hundreds of miles away at Camp Darby.

Capt. Eric Elliott, the chief public affairs officer for the wing, said the two cases are not related — other than the common theme of enlisted airmen using and distributing illegal substances.

“Completely separate,” Elliott said of the two investigations, which took place largely simultaneously over the past three months. The investigation into the Aviano cases, in which 12 airmen were apprehended, began a month earlier.

The 10 airmen at Darby, who were not identified, were “apprehended and questioned” over a four-day period last week, according to a wing news release.

Just as in the Aviano case, no one has been charged, but accusations include the use and distribution of cocaine, Ecstasy, marijuana and misuse of prescription drugs.

Those targeted, ranging in rank from airman to staff sergeant, were questioned and released to the supervision of their supervisors, pending the completion of the investigation and possible charges.

Elliott said no charges have yet been brought against the airmen in Aviano, who were detained and questioned in a sting operation on Dec. 13.

Allegations in that case involved the use and distribution of cocaine and marijuana. A search of the seven dormitories on base followed later that night, with a small amount of marijuana found in one instance that’s believed to be unrelated to the main case.

Detachment 531 from the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, based in Aviano, was involved in both cases. The 300 or so servicemembers stationed at Darby are split roughly between the Army and Air Force. Airmen fall under the supervision of the wing at Aviano. Some soldiers based at Darby are assigned to the 22nd Area Support Group and the Southern European Task Force (Airborne) in Vicenza. Others are assigned to other commands in the Army.

Margret Menzies, a public affairs officer for the 22nd ASG, said Monday afternoon she knew of no soldiers being questioned in the investigation.

Elliott said he couldn’t speculate whether others would be questioned or detained.

“The investigation is still ongoing,” he said. “That's all I can tell you.”

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Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.

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