Nuclear reactors, aircraft carriers, LSD and Ronald Reagan: all the makings for a great story, but the story wasn't so great for the 14 sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan who now face disciplinary action related to abuse of hallucinogenic drugs.
Navy officials confirmed that two sailors will be heading to court-martial for using, possessing and distributing LSD. Three more may also be charged according to 7th Fleet spokesman Lt. Joe Keiley.
Another 10 sailors received administrative discipline in relation to their LSD-related charges. There was actually a 15th sailor who was disciplined but he was not assigned to the aircraft carrier's reactor department.
According to Keiley, the reactor the 14 sailors charged were from a department with over 400 personnel. All accused sailors have been removed from duties pending the findings of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) probe.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Ronald Reagan leadership reviewed the work previously performed by the accused sailors and no improper work was identified,” Keiley said in an email to Navy Times.
The ranks, ratings and other charges haven't yet been discussed but hinted at such when he explained that “propulsion plant operations and maintenance are supervised by senior personnel.”
“Due to the defense in depth of the design and operation of the propulsion plants, the reactors aboard (the Reagan) remain safe,” he said.
Machinist’s Mate Nuclear 2nd Class Andrew W. Miller faces charges for using, possessing and trafficking the drug from January to February of this year. Electrician’s Mate Nuclear 2nd Class Sean M. Gevero is also charged with distributing LSD and possessing nandrolone decanoate, an anabolic steroid.
The drug ring was first reported in February in the Wall Street Journal. USS Reagan is the only American aircraft carrier stationed outside the US. Japanese authorities were also involved in the investigation to determine whether the American sailors were selling or purchasing the LSD from Japanese citizens.