Midshipman in court-martial pleads guilty to drug charges, gets jail term

March 07, 1996|By Scott Wilson | Scott Wilson,SUN STAFF

Three puffs of marijuana, a drop of hallucinogenic drugs and a $40 contribution to buy LSD ended Drew S. Fullerton's Naval career yesterday as he became the fourth midshipman this year sentenced to prison on drug charges.

In a staid court-martial at the Naval Academy, Fullerton, 22, pleaded guilty to four felony drug charges stemming from the arrest in October of two midshipmen caught buying LSD in a Glen Burnie hotel room.

Each count carried a five-year maximum prison sentence. But a sealed plea bargain arranged before the three-hour hearing called for Fullerton's discharge from the Navy, expulsion from the academy, restitution of more than $80,000 in tuition and a 60-day jail sentence.

"I have been incredibly immature and stupid to risk my career and integrity on what I have done," Fullerton told the court. "But I have learned. I have learned too late."

The military judge, Marine Lt. Col. Ronald Rodgers, had recommended a 22-month prison sentence for the midshipman, who would have graduated in May with a degree in systems engineering.

But Navy officials reduced the punishment in return for Mr. Fullerton's cooperation in the academy's continuing drug investigation.

Fullerton was one of several midshipmen who contributed a total of $240 to buy LSD in October, although he was not present at the initial arrest.

Midshipmen Frederick E. Wilmot of Las Vegas, Erin P. Ogle of Prescott, Ariz., and Jason A. Harloff of Fairport, N.Y., were sentenced earlier this year to two-month, three-month and four-month jail terms, respectively.

Pub Date: 3/07/96

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