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Police Say 15 Arrested After Three-Month Investigation

September 30, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A three-month investigation of drug dealing and stolen property trafficking at Walter Reed Army Medical Center has led to the arrest of 15 people, including five from the military, District of Columbia police said Monday.

Police said undercover investigators bought more than $150,000 worth of illegal drugs and $7,500 worth of stolen property at and around the hospital. They said an additional $4,500 worth of drugs and property were seized as a result of the probe.

Hospital spokesman Peter Esker said the employees were relatively low level and working in support branches of the facility, such as food service, supply and property management.

He said the highest-ranking military employee was sergeant first class.

The 15, some of whom were not employed by the hospital, were arrested over a two-week period, police said.

Walter Reed, located in northwest Washington, is the Army’s largest and newest medical center. It employs about 10,000 people.

All the narcotics sold illegally were brought in from the outside, said Esker. He said most of the stolen property was office equipment.

″No narcotics were stolen or taken from the hospital. The only drug we feel came from the hospital was lasix, a diuretic that we believe some people erroneously think will help you cheat on urinalysis,″ he said.

All military personnel are required to undergo regular urinalysis testing for drug use, Esker said.

The drugs and stolen property were sold through six separate operations, District of Columbia police said.

Two operations dealt with the selling of cocaine, one with LSD, one with PCP, one with marijuana and one with stolen property.

Police said they did not know how long the illegal activities have been going on, nor their full magnitude.

″We think this makes a severe dent in any illegal operations and sends a message to anyone else who would think of doing such things,″ said Esker.

District of Columbia police said 21 people have been implicated in the case which now goes to a grand jury.

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