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U.S. v. E-6, United States Navy

December 20, 2018

Fort Meade, Maryland

Petty Officer is accused of wrongfully using cocaine after his positive urinalysis. Petty Officer has over 15 years of active duty service and served numerous tours overseas to include Iraq. While overseas the Petty Officer injured his back that required multiple back surgeries. He is then prescribed multiple pain medications over nine years to include the highly addictive fentanyl. The over prescription of drugs and the poor results of multiple back surgeries cause debilitating effects for the Petty Officer.  The drugs lower his testosterone levels, upset his brain chemistry, and give him an addiction that he tries to cure, but unsuccessfully. He visits his pain management doctor at Walter Reed and they discuss Kratom, a natural substance known for its ability to aid during opioid withdrawals. Based on the advice of his doctor, the Petty Officer begins to take Kratom. However, one of the batches of Kratom that the Petty Officer ingests is tainted with a very low amount of cocaine which causes the positive urinalysis test. Petty Officer explains this to his command who is unsympathetic and attempts to separate him from the Navy. If he gets separated, he would lose all medical benefits and an approved Medical Retirement. Petty Officer retains Mr. Mickey Williams. Mickey Williams begins working the case and interviews several witnesses. Williams interviews the uncooperative doctor who will not testify on the client’s behalf because Kratom is a prohibited substance in the Navy. Additionally, the command refuses to test the tainted Kratom that would prove the client was telling the truth. The SJA office and the client’s command refuses to turn over any evidence to Mr. Williams. Williams obtains copies of his client’s medical records that indicate that he has discussed taking Kratom with his doctor. Williams also finds a witness who will testify that his client and the doctor discussed Kratom. Mr. Williams is also able to find a home drug test kit that proves the Kratom is laced with cocaine. At the separation board, Mr. Williams points out the gross callousness of the Navy who was willing to end the Petty Officer’s career but not give him the benefit of the doubt.  Mr. Williams points out to the board how the Government played games in attempting to deny the client any of the evidence to defend himself.

Case Result

Allegations UNSUBSTANTIATED. FULLY RETAINED. No Loss of Benefits, No Loss of Medical Retirement, No Punishment.

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