Military drug bust won't hurt forces: minister
Last Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2010 | 10:28 AM MT
Alberta's minister responsible for the Canadian Forces says the drug busts at CFB Wainwright shouldn't tarnish the whole military.
Army officials announced 70 drug charges against 12 current and former members at the eastern Alberta base on Tuesday.
Charges include possession of a controlled substance, production of a controlled substance and drug trafficking.
The substances alleged to be involved are cocaine, the hallucinogenic drug DMT, cannabis, ecstasy and some prescription drugs.
A DMT lab was also found in a residence on the base, which is usually reserved for privates awaiting release or training.
Doug Horner, minister liaison to the Canadian Forces and minister of advanced education and technology, said he's confident the military will deal with the allegations.
"We're not going to let some bad apples spoil the entire cart," Horner said.
"We're going to get rid of the bad apples and I think that's the way the military would look at it and certainly I would encourage Albertans to say 'You know what, let's see what happens here.'"
CFB Wainwright personnel Master Cpl. Patrick Huot told CBC News that he had no idea a drug lab was operating on the base. Huot has lived there for six years with his family.
"People are always responsible for what they do just like a public citizen. You always have to show good behaviour," he said.
Officials at the base said most soldiers do play by the rules. The incident made public Tuesday is rare, said Lt.-Col. Paul Duff.
"All our soldiers are members of the Canadian public, and we all know that members of the Canadian public use drugs," Duff said.
"By our research we find that drug use within the Canadian Forces is no better than about half of what it is in the general population."
Those charged are: Cpl. Thomas MacDougall, Pte. Jeffrey Brennan, Pte. Benjamin Humphrey, Pte. Dominique Malette, Pte. Glen Morgan, Pte. Michael Polack, Pte. Claude Roger Rocan, Pte. Clayton Taylor and Pte. Matthew Wright.
Three former privates who worked on the base have also been charged: Michael Masserey, David McKinnell and Melyssa Lake, who was previously charged on May 19.
Their cases will be referred to military court.
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