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AWOL Fort Bragg soldier charged with drug trafficking

By PATTI DOZIER | The Thomasville Times-Enterprise | Published: December 9, 2020

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (Tribune News Service) — An AWOL Fort Bragg soldier was arrested in Georgia this week after police found drugs, a handgun and thousands of dollars in cash on his person during a traffic stop, according to law enforcement.

Mason Sanchez, 20, was arrested, transported to the Thomas County Jail and charged with trafficking in and possession of ecstasy, a Schedule I substance, marijuana possession, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, open container and public indecency.

Police were on patrol at an apartment complex in Thomasville when they saw a man, later identified as Sanchez, urinating on the wall of an apartment building.

Officers conducted a traffic stop and noticed an open can of beer in the individual's car, said Louis Schofill, Thomas County/Thomasville Narcotics/Vice Division commander.

Sanchez, told police people had been smoking and drinking in the vehicle.

Looking for more alcohol, officers found marijuana. In a duffle bag, they found four ounces of ecstasy pills, a loaded small handgun, a digital scale and $2,826 in U.S. currency.

During questioning, narcotics agents learned Sanchez was absent without leave from Fort Bragg.

"He had left in early November," Schofill said. "He got homesick and left."

Sanchez is from Cairo, Ga.

Thomas County Sheriff's Office Capt. Tim Watkins contacted Fort Bragg and informed the base about Sanchez's location.

Sanchez will be returned to Fort Bragg after charges against him here are disposed of, Watkins said.

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