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MacDill Airman pleads guilty during special court martial

Airman Basic Anthony S. McFall was convicted Aug. 3, of using and possessing marijuana, and being absent from his duty without leave for two days.

Airman McFall pled guilty to these charges in front of a military judge at a special court-martial which convened here at MacDill. After hearing Airman McFall's admissions and the testimony of other witnesses, the military judge sentenced him to a bad conduct discharge, six months of confinement and a reprimand.

Airman McFall's drug abuse came to light when witnesses came forward and told investigators that he had been talking about smoking marijuana. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations and 6th Security Forces investigators launched a joint investigation into the drug use.

Agents collected a sample of Airman McFall's urine, which was later tested by the Air Force Institute for Operational Health, Drug Testing Division, at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. Chemical tests detected the presence of a marijuana ingredient in Airman McFall's urine.

Investigators also searched Airman McFall's vehicle and seized a marijuana-like substance, which chemical analysts later confirmed was marijuana. Witnesses reported they had observed Airman McFall use marijuana.

At trial, Airman McFall admitted to smoking marijuana between 15 to 20 times at Ballast Point, just outside MacDill between November 2004 and January 2005.

Evidence was also introduced at trial that Airman McFall was absent from his duty without authority for two days in March. His supervisor noted his absence and attempted to contact him on his cell phone without success. His squadron leadership eventually reached him and ordered him to return the next morning at 7:30 a.m. However, Airman McFall reported to the squadron, in civilian clothes, at approximately 9:30 a.m. the next day.

According to standard instructions given by military judges, a bad conduct discharge is a special discharge unique to military courts-martial. The discharge limits a member's employment opportunities outside the military and denies the member other advantages enjoyed by those whose discharge characterization indicates they have served honorably. (Courtesy of the 6th Air Mobility Wing Legal Office)

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