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Naval officials say 14 sailors implicated in drug activity

By Sasha Goldstein

Publication: theday.com

Published May 09. 2012 2:00PM   Updated May 10. 2012 12:31AM

Groton — Naval law enforcement said Wednesday that a total of 14 active duty sailors assigned to the submarine base have been implicated in connection with drug activity.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has arrested six sailors assigned to the Naval Submarine Base thus far, but the investigation has revealed more sailors are implicated, the Navy said in a release Wednesday.

The sailors may face state criminal charges and be charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the release said. The sub base has removed the sailors from normal duty pending results of the investigation.

“NCIS will continue to pursue this case to determine whether any additional Navy personnel are involved with this particular ring, although at this time indications are that all users have been identified,” said Supervisory Special Agent Gerald Tirocchi of the sub base’s NCIS office.

Two sailors were cited for a minor infraction after a motor vehicle stop and search by NCIS and Groton Town police on April 30. The sailors had $900 and a small amount of marijuana in their possession and were charged by police with illegal possession of a controlled substance.

Four other sailors — Bron Lukas, 24, John Elder, 20, Corey Bernard, 20, and Derrick Saunders, 21 — were arrested May 1 and have been charged with criminal attempt to possess Ecstasy.

Four civilians from Rhode Island were arrested by Groton Town police on May 3 as part of the investigation into Navy personnel.

Travis Haught, 23, of Pawtucket, R.I., was charged with conspiracy to possess hallucinogens with intent to sell, two counts of possession of hallucinogens with intent to sell, two counts of possession of hallucinogens, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a dangerous weapon.

At the same time as Haught’s arrest on Ohio Avenue, police charged the other occupants of the car — Ashton Knudsen, 20, of Charlestown, R.I., and Joshua Zuckerman, 24, and Cheyenne Collins, 18, both of Pawtucket — with conspiracy to possess hallucinogens with intent to sell.

During that arrest, police confiscated more than two ounces of Ecstasy and more than 100 doses of LSD. Haught was carrying the Ecstasy in powder form in his backpack, according to a police report. Some of the drug was in a container designed to look like a Dr. Pepper soda can, police said. The LSD was in the form of “peace designs” on a 3-inch-by-3-inch folded magazine paper that Haught carried in his shirt pocket.

Haught also had a digital scale, a silver spoon and a 10-inch hunting knife with a 6-inch blade, according to police.

s.goldstein@theday.com

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