This fall, three senior cadets on the Air Force Academy’s football team have been accused of using cocaine. The players have all been kicked off the team, and face drug charges in the military justice system.
Seniors Cole Fagan, Joseph Saucier, and Kyler Ehm were expected to be standout members of the Academy’s 2019 football team. Instead, they have been sidelined by allegations of drug use, a violation of Article 112A of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The Three Cadets Facing Cocaine Charges
Earlier this fall, former Falcons fullback Cole Fagan pleaded guilty to snorting cocaine while partying in Breckenridge in 2017. He was sentenced to 15 days behind bars, which was far less than the five-year maximum he faced. He will also be reprimanded and forced to forfeit $500 per month for two months. Fagan was the leading rusher for the Air Force Academy’s 2018 football team and was expected to be a star on this year’s team.
Joseph Saucier pleaded guilty to one charge and three specifications of cocaine use and cocaine and marijuana possession after being arrested in his native Arkansas last December. The military assumed jurisdiction because Saucier was subject to the UCMJ, even though he was arrested in another state. He was recently sentenced to a reprimand, forfeiture of $1,116 per month for four months, and four months confinement. Military prosecutors agreed to drop allegations that he also intended to distribute illegal drugs, which carries a 15 year prison sentence.
Ehm is the third Falcons football player to face cocaine charges in recent weeks. He was charged with four counts of cocaine use. The government’s star witness in Ehm’s case is Fagan.
Unlike other college football players, these cadets will not be coddled by their alma mater. While players at other schools may get a slap on the wrist from starstruck local law enforcement, or have their scholarships taken away, cadets face stiffer penalties.
All branches of the military take a zero-tolerance approach to drug use and vigorously prosecute drug offenders. These players have all already been kicked off the Academy’s football team. Whether they lose their scholarships depends on whether they remain at the Academy. Like all cadets, football players get free tuition and paychecks from the Pentagon.
What should you do if charged with a drug crime?
Any military cadet who is charged with a drug crime must carefully consider his or her next steps. It is important to put up a strong defense so that the cadet’s entire military career and the rest of his or her life is not defined by one stupid mistake.
Aviso Law LLC’s Court-Martial Law Division may be able to help if you or a loved one is facing drug charges under Article 112A of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Whether you are under investigation, facing a court-martial, or seeking to appeal a decision you disagree with, it is never too late to contact our office for a free consultation.