Army Officer Cleared of Meth Charge

Army O-3 tested positive on a urinalysis test for methamphetamine.  Upon our advice, she refused nonjudicial punishment and demanded trial by court-martial.  At her subsequent General Court-Martial, JAG Defense attacked the credibility of the urinalysis program, showing numerous errors that occurred on the day of our client’s collection. The member panel deliberated for less than 30 minutes. Result: Without even having to testify, our client was found NOT GUILTY of wrongful methamphetamine use.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

Poppyseeds Cause Rare Codeine Test Result

A Navy Chief Petty Officer tested positive on random urinalysis test for codeine.  He was taken to Captain’s Mast and found guilty.  Subsequently, he retained the services of JAG Defense to represent him at his discharge board.  During our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the test, JAG Defense discovered that our client consumed multiple poppyseed muffins prior to the urinalysis test.  Traditionally, poppyseeds will cause someone to test positive for morphine, but not codeine. Working with an expert in forensic toxicology, JAG Defense discovered evidence that a new strain of poppyseed has been shown to make users test positive for codeine instead of morphine.  At our client’s subsequent discharge board, the government expert from the DoD drug testing laboratory admitted on cross-examination that the laboratory had seen a recent uptick in codeine tests, and that this increase was likely due to this new strain of “codeine-heavy” poppyseeds being introduced into the U.S. market. The board voted unanimously that NO MISCONDUCT occurred and RETAINED our client.  Following the board, JAG Defense petitioned the Commanding Officer to set aside our client’s Captain’s Mast in light of the evidence presented at the board.  The Commanding Officer agreed, set aside the previously imposed Captain’s Mast, and restored all rights and privileges that had been negatively affected by the entire process.  

Category: Military Success Stories, Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

TSgt Cleared Despite Two Positive Urinalysis Tests

USAF TSgt tested positive for marijuana on a medical drug screen.  Using that test result as the basis for probable cause, his command ordered him to provide another urinalysis sample 3-4 weeks later.  That sample also tested positive for marijuana.  Since the tests were so far apart, they were definitively NOT the result of a single exposure to marijuana.  Based on these test results, the command initiated administrative separation.  At his board hearing, we presented evidence that our client had been unknowingly consuming THC-infused vodka at or near the time of both urinalysis tests.  We presented expert testimony from a forensic toxicologist who confirmed that our client’s nanogram levels were consistent with consuming this laced vodka, perhaps without even feeling any marijuana-related effects.  We further presented compelling evidence of our client’s otherwise exceptional career and character.  Result: The board members unanimously voted that our client had committed No Misconduct and Retained him in the Air Force.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

Naval Flight Officer Cleared of Drug Abuse

A Naval Flight Officer tested positive on a two separate urinalysis tests for codeine. Both test results were significantly above the DoD cutoff level. When it became apparent that his test results were not due to the accidental ingestion of actual codeine, we widened our search of possible reasons for the test result. At his subsequent Board of Inquiry proceeding, we presented a compelling case that his test results were due to his consumption of poppy seed muffins purchased at his local grocery store. While poppy seed muffins are well-known to be a possible reason someone might test positive for morphine, it is very rare to test positive for codeine after ingestion. In support of our defense, we presented (1) itemized receipts showing the purchase of poppy seed muffins; (2) expert testimony from two forensic toxicologists establishing that poppy seed ingestion could cause low levels of codeine; (3) scientific studies demonstrating the rise in codeine positive test results due to poppy seed ingestion; (4) DNA test results showing that our client has a rare genetic mutation that impacts his ability to metabolize codeine, and (5) expert testimony from a professor of Nutrition Science at a leading university who explained the impact that our client’s genetic mutation would have on his body’s ability to metabolize poppy seeds and his urinalysis test results. Result: The Board of Inquiry voted 3-0 that our client committed No Misconduct.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

Investigation Uncovers Rampant Problems in Urinalysis Collection Program

Naval Academy Midshipman (and football player) tested positive on a urinalysis test for marijuana. The Naval Academy offered him a plea deal to accept administrative disenrollment/discharge from the Naval Academy with a General discharge characterization. Upon our advice, he refused. The Naval Academy elected to refer his case to a General Court-Martial. During JAG Defense’s exhaustive investigation into his case, we discovered rampant problems with the Naval Academy’s urinalysis collection program. At trial, we demonstrated over 25,000 errors on samples submitted over the past two years at the Academy on all samples submitted for testing, resulting in an overall error rate of 65%. During our cross examination of the Urinalysis Program Coordinator for the Naval Academy, we were able to force him to admit that he himself did not entirely trust the collection program, and that there might have been mistakes made with our client’s sample. Result: The panel of officer members deliberated for less than an hour before finding our client Not Guilty.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

JAG Defense Proves Urinalysis Sample Came From Another Soldier

Army E-8 tested positive on a urinalysis test for amphetamines and benzodiazepines.  He was offered nonjudicial punishment, which he refused pursuant to JAG Defense advice.  His command elected not to pursue a court-martial.  Instead, he was processed for administrative separation and send to a discharge board.  During our investigation into the urinalysis collection, JAG Defense discovered significant flaws in the urinalysis collection program overall, and with our client’s sample specifically.  We were able to obtain the urinalysis bottle from the testing laboratory, which definitively showed someone else’s initials on the bottle attributed to our client!  It was the rare case where we were able to prove without a doubt that a false positive urinalysis test had occurred.  Result: The members voted 3-0 for No Misconduct and our client continued his Army career.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

Navy Sailor Acquitted After Positive Urinalysis for Cocaine and Ecstasy

Navy E-5 tested positive on a unit sweep urinalysis test for cocaine and ecstasy.  His command offered him Captain’s Mast, which he refused and demanded trial by court-martial.  During our investigation into his case, our attorneys discovered significant flaws in the command’s urinalysis collection program.  At his subsequent Special Court-Martial, we were able to show the command’s failure to maintain a proper chain of custody on our client’s sample, institutional failings in the command’s urinalysis program overall.  In addition, we surprised the government by proving that the UPC that testified in their case was not even the UPC that collected our client’s sample.  Following the close of the government’s case, we rested without even needing to present a shred of evidence.  RESULT: The member panel found our client Not Guilty.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

Navy Healthcare Provider Cleared of Drug Offenses

A Naval Officer and healthcare provider self-enrolled in a rehabilitation program for an increasing dependence on sleep medication.  While enrolled in the program, the officer continued to test positive for the metabolite for the sleep medication, leading her providers to believe that the officer was continuing to abuse the drug.  Further, the officer also tested positive for an anti-seizure medication, which led to her removal from the rehabilitation program.  The Navy initiated proceedings to revoke the officer’s privileges to practice medicine within the Navy.  The officer retained JAG Defense to represent her through this process.  At her subsequent Peer Review Panel, we presented the testimony of two forensic toxicologists to demonstrate that our client’s continued positive urinalysis tests were due to the metabolite for the sleep medication lingering in her body due to longterm abuse prior to entering the rehabilitation program.  In addition, we presented evidence and testimony of numerous other individuals in the rehabilitation program who inexplicably tested positive for the same anti-seizure medication.  We also challenged the reliability of the testing program due to its lack of a formal chain of custody and the employment of a civilian laboratory, rather than a DoD testing laboratory.  Result: The Peer Review Panel unanimously found that none of the bases for the adverse privileging action were substantiated and our client was awarded full privileges.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

TSgt Acquitted After Two Positive Military Urinalysis Tests

Air Force E-6 tested positive for D-Amphetamines on a military urinalysis test.  When he was pulled in for questioning by OSI, he was ordered to provide another urinalysis sample.  This second sample also tested positive for D-Amphetamine.  Based on the nanogram levels and time between urinalysis collections, the two tests were clearly the result of two separate ingestions of D-Amphetamine.  At his subsequent court-martial, we were able to demonstrate that our client had unknowingly ingested his wife’s Adderall prescription on numerous occasions.  Our cross examination of the government’s forensic toxicologist led to her conceding the scientific plausibility of this explanation, based both on the nanogram levels of each sample, as well as the ration of D-Amphetamine to L-Amphetamine in the urinalysis collections.  Result: The member panel found our client NOT GUILTY.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

Innocent Ingestion Defense for Positive Urinalysis

Army E-7 tested positive on random urinalysis for cocaine.  After hiring JAG Defense and following our advice, he refused his Article 15 and demanded trial by court-martial.  During our investigation into the circumstances surrounding his positive urinalysis test, we learned that he had ingested ron caña, a Puerto Rican homemade liquor made from sugarcane, that had been provided to him by a family member.  We arranged for the forensic testing of the ron caña, which revealed the presence of cocaine.  Armed with these test results, at our client’s ensuing court-martial, we elicited evidence scientifically corroborating the innocent ingestion defense from the government’s own expert witness, compelling him to concede that our client’s ingestion of the ron caña was entirely consistent with the urinalysis test results.  Our client did not even have to testify.  Result: Officer member panel found our client NOT GUILTY.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories