Over a Dozen Army Special Operators Questioned in Drug Ring Probe

January 10, 2023Matt White
green beret cover1

Army Special Operations Command officials confirmed that the Criminal Investigation Division had detained, questioned and released 15 soldiers. US Army photo.

Fifteen soldiers in the US Army Special Operations Command were questioned by investigators over allegations of drug involvement, an official confirmed at Fort Bragg.

The soldiers were questioned late last week at Fort Bragg by law enforcement officials including the Army's Criminal Investigation Division. Media reports and officials at USASOC said many of those questioned were active-duty Green Berets, though it was unclear how many.

The Army said that all 15 had been released and two cleared of "wrongdoing."

Special Forces Students Graduate Qualification Course

The announcement that Fort Bragg may soon become Fort Liberty disappointed some who had hoped that a new name might reflect the base's tradition of housing elite units — and the many battlefield heroes from them — like the 82nd Airborne and Army Special Forces. Army photo by K. Kassens

"I can confirm that 15 Soldiers assigned to USASOC were questioned and released to their command. Two of those Soldiers have been cleared of any wrongdoing," USASOC Lt. Director of Public Affairs Col. Mike Burns said in a prepared statement. "We take all allegations seriously and are fully cooperating with the Criminal Investigation Division. CID’s investigation is ongoing, and it would be inappropriate to discuss the status of their investigation."

Jack Murphy, an independent military journalist and former Green Beret, reported that the investigation that led to the arrests involved the FBI, and that one soldier had been investigated for human trafficking-related crimes involving minor girls.

The Special Forces community around Fort Bragg has seen a string of violent deaths in recent years.

In 2018, Special Forces soldier Mark Leshikar was shot to death in his home by Delta Force soldier William J. Lavigne. The two men had previously been friends, and a subsequent investigation found that the shooting had been in self-defense.

Then in December 2020, Lavigne and Army veteran Timothy Dumas were found dead on a Fort Bragg training range. Their deaths were classified as homicides.

No arrests have been made in those deaths.

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Matt White
Matt White

Matt White is a former senior editor for Coffee or Die Magazine. He was a pararescueman in the Air Force and the Alaska Air National Guard for eight years and has more than a decade of experience in daily and magazine journalism.

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