Soldier gets 5 years for selling drugs
July 20, 2003
WüRZBURG, Germany — A Kitzingen-based soldier was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment Friday for selling Ecstasy, cocaine and marijuana to members of his unit, as well as to agents for the Army’s Criminal Investigations Command.
Pvt. Zachary Stephens, 23, of the 4th Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery, pleaded guilty to charges of distribution and use of the drugs, and to conspiracy to distribute ecstasy, said Maj. Steve Haight, chief of criminal law for the 1st Infantry Division’s staff judge advocate. The offenses began in late 2001 and continued throughout 2002, he said.
Capt. Cynthia Ruckno, the military prosecutor, said three 4-3 ADA soldiers tested positive for ecstasy in urine tests last fall before the unit deployed to Kosovo. Their statements led investigators to Stephens. Ruckno said a CID-registered source also purchased 28 ecstasy pills from Stephens.
She said seven 4-3 ADA soldiers were discharged from the Army for drug use as a result of the investigation. Charges are pending against another soldier who allegedly supplied Stephens with drugs.
In addition to the prison sentence, Lt. Col. Robin Hall, the military judge in the case, ordered Stephens to forfeit all pay during his sentence and to receive a bad-conduct discharge.