Newsbrief: Eighty Marines and Sailors Convicted of Using, Selling Drugs 7/5/02

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The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that more than 80 US Marines and Navy personnel have been convicted by military courts of using or distributing cocaine, GHB, LSD, ecstasy and steroids at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. A two-year investigation into the off-base club scene by military authorities, Operation Xterminator, led to charges against 61 Marines and sailors for drug distribution and 23 for using drugs. Law enforcement agencies working with the military have charged an additional 99 civilians with drug crimes and confiscated a reported $1.4 million worth of black market drugs, including 31,000 Ecstasy tablets, 13,000 doses of LSD, nearly five kilograms of cocaine, over 750 doses of GHB and 405 units of steroids.

The Camp Lejeune busts are only the most recent indication that ecstasy's widespread popularity among young people extends into the armed forces. The US Air Force Academy was rocked by an ecstasy scandal last year, and just two months ago, the US Navy ferreted out 13 ecstasy or methamphetamine users on the USS Nimitz and 11 more at a Hawaii-based sub-hunting aviation unit. Last year, a Marine from Camp Pendleton was arrested with methamphetamine, marijuana and one pound of C-4 plastic explosive smuggled off-base. Two years ago, Naval Intelligence agents were criticized for targeting gay clubs in Washington, DC, as part of an investigation into military drug use in the nation's capital.

In response to the growing number of incidents involving drug use in the military, the armed forces have begun using more frequent and more sophisticated urine screenings.

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Issue #244, 7/5/02 Bolivian Voters Tell US to Butt Out: Coca Grower Leader Morales Emerges as Presidential Kingmaker | Unitarian Drug Stand Draws Favorable Response from West Virginia Paper | British Columbia Marijuana Activists Celebrate 4th of July by Burning US Flag in Protest of Local DEA office | Newsbrief: Kids Are Consuming More Alcohol, Cigarettes, Cocaine, but Are Less Reckless, Says CDC | Newsbrief: Eighty Marines and Sailors Convicted of Using, Selling Drugs | Newsbrief: No Honor Among Thieves -- Informant Sues FBI for His Cut of Forfeitures | Newsbrief: More Complications in Epis Case | Newsbrief: Drug Czar Declares War on Kingpins, Casual Users | Newsbrief: US to Resume Airplane Shootdown Program | Newsbrief: Report Says Post September 11 Security Not Stopping Drugs | Will Foster Free Again | The Reformer's Calendar

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