9 midshipmen facing disciplinary action as Naval Academy investigates drug use
By SARAH LARIMER | The Washington Post | Published: March 12, 2018
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Nine midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy are facing disciplinary action amid an investigation into alleged drug use, a spokesman said in a statement Monday.
The Naval Academy has started the administrative disciplinary process against five midshipmen for "illicit drug use," Cmdr. David McKinney, Naval Academy public affairs officer, said in a statement. That process has also begun for four midshipmen accused of failing to report drug use.
McKinney's statement said the drugs allegedly used included cocaine, ketamine, ecstasy and mushrooms.
The investigation is ongoing, the statement said. It began after two midshipmen made a report to Naval Academy officials in November, according to the statement. The Naval Academy and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service have been involved in the probe.
Administrative discipline measures can include restrictions and the loss of privileges, as well as demerits and removal from the Naval Academy, according to McKinney's statement. The statement noted that military justice proceedings were still an option for officials, who were expected to make a decision on that after the Naval Criminal Investigative Service review had wrapped up. Those options could include court-martial, which is a military version of criminal proceedings.
"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," the statement said.
The Naval Academy is in Annapolis, Maryland, and is home to about 4,400 students.
In 2011, several midshipmen were removed from campus for possessing or using a synthetic form of marijuana, which an investigation found had been widely used at the Naval Academy.