US Navy investigates sailors working in nuclear department of USS Ronald Reagan for taking LSD
Posted On July 15, 2020
The US Navy has confirmed it is investigating 15 sailors working mainly in the nuclear reactor department of the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan for allegations of LSD abuse.
Lt. Joe Keiley, spokesman for the Seventh Fleet, based in Japan, said that two sailors are already heading to court-martial accused of using, possessing and distributing the hallucinogenic drug, while three are waiting to see whether they will be charged as well.
Another 10 sailors were administratively disciplined. Of the 15, 14 worked in the nuclear department.
News of the LSD ring was first reported by The Wall Street Journal in February, but Lt Keiley confirmed that the initial investigation had resulted in charges.
When the allegations were first reported, the Seventh Fleet – beset by a series of problems – issued a statement saying that “the Navy has zero tolerance for drug abuse and takes all allegations involving misconduct of our sailors, Navy civilians and family members very seriously.”
Japanese authorities were also initially brought into the investigation because of suspicions that drugs were sold to Japanese residents. They dropped the case in June.
Lt Keiley said that the accused sailors had had their work reviewed.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Ronald Reagan leadership reviewed the work previously performed by the accused sailors and no improper work was identified,” he said, in an email to Navy Times.
The two facing court martial are named in charge sheets as Machinist’s Mate Nuclear 2nd Class Andrew W. Miller, who faces charges of using, possessing and trafficking the drug from January to February of this year, and Electrician’s Mate Nuclear 2nd Class Sean M. Gevero.
Gevero is also charged with distributing LSD and possessing nandrolone decanoate, an anabolic steroid.
Lawyers for the two men have not commented publicly.
Lt Keiley refused to say what rank the other 13 sailors held, but said the ship was never at risk.
“Propulsion plant operations and maintenance are supervised by senior personnel,” he said. “Due to the defence in depth of the design and operation of the propulsion plants, the reactors aboard (the Reagan) remain safe.”
The Seventh Fleet has been plagued by problems over the past year.
In 2017, two ships – the USS John S. McCain and the USS Fitzgerald – were involved in separate collisions with commercial vessels, killing 17 sailors.
In August 2017 Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander of all US naval forces in the eastern Pacific, was fired as the result of a “loss of confidence in his ability to command,” the Navy said.