AP NEWS

Coast Guard investigates Kodiak members in illicit drug case

October 4, 2018

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — A number of U.S. Coast Guard members in Kodiak have been removed from duty status as authorities investigate allegations of illicit drug activity, the Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Raymond Reichl said the investigative service’s probe has “only been going on for a very short period of time” and will continue for several weeks, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Tuesday.

“A couple of weeks would be the minimum,” Reichl said of the investigation. “It’s not something that we’re going to do haphazardly.”

The probe involves members from “a variety of units,” but Reichl declined to give the number of people involved or what prompted the investigation. It could deal with anything from drug possession to the wrongful use of prescription medication, said Reichl, an external affairs officer.

“Drug use does not align with the core values of the Coast Guard and is illegal,” said Capt. Melissa Rivera, 17th Coast Guard District Chief of Staff. “The Coast Guard takes reports of illicit drug activity seriously and fully investigates these reports to determine an appropriate level of accountability.”

The members under investigation have been removed from duty status, which includes security watches, aircraft or boat duties, and other routine activities performed by Coast Guard personnel.

The lack of these members is not affecting the coast Guard’s ability to perform search and rescue operations or its other responsibilities, but if the investigation is prolonged, it might need to request additional personnel, Reichl said.

“It does have an impact on the Coast Guard as a whole,” Reichl said. “We don’t have a large surplus of extra people in the Coast Guard.”

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Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com

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