BUSTED: Fort Stewart Cocaine Ring

The Fort Stewart Cocaine Cartel

(Hinesville, GA) – A massive investigation of a reported sixty-four soldiers shocked the Fort Stewart community, with details slowly starting to emerge of a massive conspiracy to traffic cocaine in and around the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield area.  Currently, officials from the installation are not confirming how many soldiers are involved, but at least one soldier has been identified.  PFC Mario Figueroa was arrested by the Liberty Country Sheriff’s Office for various drug trafficking charges. 

According to the Liberty Country Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force, the arrest comes as the first legal action taken after a three-month investigation that also involved the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID), as well the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). So far, the Army is remaining tight-lipped on any other details of the case, with a spokesperson for Fort Stewart’s CID only confirming that other soldiers have indeed been taken into custody, but would neither confirm nor deny the number of service members involved.  The Commanding General of Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, MG James Rainey, said in a news release that the post was dedicating resources and working closely with law enforcement to address the issue of illegal drugs on the base. 

As the operation to take the involved soldiers into custody, Fort Stewart reportedly locked down the entire base and began conducting 100% searches of all vehicles entering the post. Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield are home to more than 25,000 soldiers and their families. All of the soldiers involved in the investigation are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The spokesperson for the County Drug Task Force, Maj. Jeff Hein, said that several soldiers taken into custody had been questioned and released.  PFC Figueroa remains in jail as of the writing of this article.  According to official press releases, no further information will be released in order to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation. 

Chris Erickson

Chris Erickson is an OpsLens Contributor and former U.S. Army Special Forces soldier. He spent over 10 years in the Army and performed multiple combat deployments, as well as various global training missions throughout the world. He is still active in the veteran community and currently works in the communications industry. Follow him @EricksonPrime on Twitter.

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