Midshipman pleads guilty to distribution of drugs LSD case is first of six to reach trial stage

January 05, 1996|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

A senior midshipman at the Naval Academy pleaded guilty to drug charges yesterday during a court martial at the Washington Navy Yard, officials announced.

Midshipman Jason A. Harloff, of Fairport, N.Y., pleaded guilty to attempted possession, conspiracy and use and transfer of LSD as part of a bargain with Navy lawyers, a source close to the investigation said. He is the first of six midshipmen charged with distributing LSD to reach trial.

Prosecutors made no sentencing recommendation at the hearing, but if he had been tried and convicted, Harloff could have been sentenced to up to 50 years in prison and dismissed from the Navy.

Capt. Tom Jurkowsky, an academy spokesman, would not comment on the plea arrangement last night. Harloff is to be sentenced Jan. 17.

"We're pleased that the cases are under way and progressing and we have reached an appropriate resolution for these charges," Captain Jurkowsky said.

Harloff's attorney, Lt. Larry Burch, could not be reached for comment.

Harloff was one of two midshipmen arrested in October by Navy investigators after allegedly buying the drug from undercover officers at a Glen Burnie hotel. Academy officials later announced that six midshipmen are suspected of peddling LSD and marijuana and that 18 are suspected of using the

drugs.

Yesterday's case was the first of the 24. Hearings for the remaining midshipmen have not yet been scheduled.

While two dozen midshipmen have been accused of drug use, only two have tested positive in random tests in the past 15 months and all 4,000 midshipmen tested negative a day after the arrests.

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