Sembach-based airman gets jail time for using hallucinogenic mushrooms
July 12, 2006
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — A military judge sentenced a Sembach-based airman to jail and a reduction in rank on Monday after finding her guilty of wrongful use of a controlled substance.
Airman 1st Class Brooke E. Roche, 23, pleaded guilty to the charge and admitted to eating hallucinogenic mushrooms at a pizzeria in the Netherlands in early March of 2005.
Roche is assigned to the 21st Operational Weather Squadron at Sembach Annex, which is about 19 miles from Ramstein Air Base.
She had faced a maximum punishment of reduction to the lowest pay grade, forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for 12 months, confinement for a year, a bad-conduct discharge and a fine.
A charge of fraudulent enlistment against Roche was dismissed after Judge (Col.) Gordon Hammock granted a defense motion to dismiss evidence that she had admitted to taking mushrooms before she entered the military.
She had pleaded not guilty to the fraud charge and no evidence was presented during the trial that she had been convicted of possession or use of the drug prior to her enlistment.
Airman 1st Class Nickolas L. Barringer testified during Monday’s hearing that he and another airman had bought hallucinogenic mushrooms at a shop in the Netherlands, and that Roche took the drug.
Barringer is currently serving a 10-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to driving while impaired by marijuana as well as possession and distribution of marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms at his court-martial last month.
Possession of unprocessed hallucinogenic mushrooms in the Netherlands is legal. But the U.S. military prohibits servicemembers from possessing or using the drugs even if they are in a country in which the drugs are legal.