This undated picture, censored by police, exhibits a U.S. soldier being questioned throughout an artificial hashish raid inside a barracks at Camp Casey, South Korea. (Gyeonggi Provincial Police Workplace)
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — Seventeen American troopers and 5 others are beneath investigation for allegedly possessing and aspiring to distribute artificial hashish close to two U.S. army bases this 12 months.
A joint raid in Could by the Pyeongtaek Police Station and the Military’s Felony Investigation Division discovered 2.7 ounces of artificial hashish, over 145 ounces of “combined liquids” for vaping and $12,850 in money on the 22 suspects’ properties, the Southern Gyeonggi Provincial Police Workplace stated in a information launch Wednesday.
The 17 troopers are stationed at Camp Humphreys, about 30 miles south of Seoul, and at Camp Casey, an Military outpost about 25 miles north of the capital, in response to the provincial police.
The suspects possessed or trafficked artificial hashish between March and August, police stated. One male soldier, 24, is believed to have smuggled round 11 ounces of artificial hashish into the nation in plastic bottles.
Photographs launched by the provincial police confirmed plainclothes Military investigators and native police looking barracks at Humphreys and Casey and off-post properties.
This undated picture, censored by police, exhibits two U.S. service members accused of trafficking artificial marijuana in Pyeongtaek metropolis, South Korea. (Gyeonggi Provincial Police Workplace)
One other picture exhibits what police stated are two U.S. troopers within the backseat of a taxi pouring a bottle of artificial hashish into one other container for distribution.
The joint investigation was launched early this 12 months after Military investigators knowledgeable police of suspected drug trafficking, a Pyeongtaek police detective instructed Stars and Stripes by telephone Wednesday.
South Korean officers frequently communicate to the media on the customary situation of anonymity.
Synthetic hashish “just isn’t simple to detect” on account of its use in authorized e-cigarette gadgets and the investigation might solely have been achieved by means of the shut cooperation with Military investigators, the discharge stated.
“The police have declared a battle on drug crimes and are focusing their investigative efforts to reply vigorously,” the discharge stated. “In the long run, we are going to proceed to analyze U.S. army personnel … with the U.S. Military’s Felony Investigation Division.”
The Suwon Metropolis District Court docket declined to remark by telephone Wednesday on whether or not prices had been filed towards the 17 service members.
This undated picture, censored by police, exhibits proof collected after an artificial hashish raid in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. (Gyeonggi Provincial Police Workplace)
The 5 different suspects embrace two ladies, together with a South Korean courting one of many troopers suspected of importing the artificial drug, a Pyeongtaek police officer instructed Stars and Stripes by telephone Aug. 4.
The 2nd Infantry Division and Eighth Military didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark by telephone and electronic mail Wednesday.
Synthetic hashish is banned beneath South Korea’s Narcotics Management Act and beneath U.S. army laws.
A narcotics trafficking conviction carries a minimal five-year jail time period in South Korea. Drug possession carries a most sentence of 5 years in jail or a positive of roughly $38,200.
Stars and Stripes reporter Yoo Kyong Chang contributed to this report.