More USS Ronald Reagan sailors sanctioned in drug probe aboard carrier
By CAITLIN DOORNBOS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 6, 2018
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Additional details released this week about a drug ring run by USS Ronald Reagan sailors revealed that the number of servicemembers involved totals 15.
Stars and Stripes reported Tuesday that two Ronald Reagan sailors face charges of possession and distribution of a controlled substance, including LSD and anabolic steroids, in connection with the operation.
Another three sailors could face charges as they are “involved in the Article 32 process,” said 7th Fleet spokesman Lt. Joe Keiley. Article 32 hearings are similar to preliminary hearings in civilian courts used to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant a trial.
Keiley said Wednesday that an additional 10 Reagan sailors received nonjudicial punishment in the case. He could not reveal further detail about those sailors as the Navy “does not discuss the outcomes of administrative actions.”
Fourteen of the 15 sailors implicated in the drug operation were assigned to the aircraft carrier’s nuclear reactor department, which has a staff of more than 400, Keiley said. Those suspected of involvement were taken off from their duties as the investigation got underway.
Keiley said there was no evidence to suggest the sailors’ alleged criminal involvement damaged their work and that “propulsion plant operations are supervised by senior personnel.”
“Out of an abundance of caution, Ronald Reagan leadership reviewed the work previously performed by the accused Sailors and no improper work was identified,” he said. “Due to the defense in depth of the design and operation of the propulsion plants, the reactors aboard CVN 76 remain safe.”
The sailors facing courts-martial are Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Miller, a machinist’s mate, who is accused of using, possessing and distributing LSD from January to February 2018, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Gevero, an electrician’s mate, who is accused of distributing LSD and possessing anabolic steroids in February, according to their charge sheets.
The three undergoing the Article 32 process include a seaman apprentice and petty officer second class. Another unnamed sailor attended an Article 32 hearing in September for wrongful use and possession of a controlled substance and is awaiting further legal proceedings.
Japanese authorities were also involved in the investigation when suspicions surfaced that the drugs were being sold to locals off base. However, they dropped the case in June.