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

Marine Avoids Sex Offender Registration

Our client was a LCpl in the Marine Corps who was identified by the Department of Homeland Security as having engaged in attempted child sexual abuse by communicating with minors on the social media app Whisper. In addition, NCIS conducted an undercover operation on Whisper, which also identified our client as engaging in similar behavior with minors on Whisper, to include sending them photos of his genitalia. Prior to retaining JAG Defense, when questioned by NCIS about the allegations, our client fully admitted to his misconduct and consented to the search and seizure of his cell phone, which yielded additional evidence against him. The Marine Corps ultimately charged our client with numerous violations of the UCMJ. If convicted of these charges, our client was facing 90 years of confinement, a dishonorable discharge, and lifetime sex offender registration. After extensive pretrial negotiations, we were able to secure a pretrial agreement where our client pleaded guilty only to indecent language. All sex offense charges were withdrawn and dismissed, and our client both avoided a sex offender registration and was not punitively discharged from the Marine Corps.

Category: Military Success Stories

Navy O-10 Cleared During Congressional Investigation

Senior Officer (O-10) was identified as a person of interest in a Congressional investigation into the death of a service member from alleged friendly fire. After being called to testify behind closed doors with staff members of House committee, the officer was cleared of any wrong doing.

Category: Military Success Stories

Navy Executive Officer Retained and Promoted

Senior Officer (O-4) Executive Officer was relieved by his Commanding Officer for substandard performance after the Executive Officer raised concerns about the CO’s ability to command. After a lengthy investigative and complaint process, the Executive Officer was promoted to O-5 and went on to complete 20 years of exemplary service.

Category: Military Success Stories

Navy JAG Officer Cleared of Ethical Violations

Senior Officer (O-5) former Commanding Officer was accused of various ethical violations by a civilian attorney. After two separate investigations and one formal hearing, the matter was closed with findings of no violations by the officer.

Category: Military Success Stories

Commanding Officer Permitted to Retire in Grade After At-Sea Collision

Senior Officer (O-5) Commanding Officer was taken to non-judicial punishment for an at sea collision with a commercial vessel. The detachment for cause was successfully avoided, and the officer was permitted to retire at his pay grade.

Category: Military Success Stories

Navy O-6 Accused of Adultery

Senior Officer (O-6) post-command officer was accused of adultery. After a lengthy investigation, the matter was resolved administratively with a non-punitive letter of caution with no permanent adverse military personnel file entries.

Category: Military Success Stories

Navy Chaplain Avoids Prosecution for Adultery and Sexual Misconduct

Senior Officer (O-6) Chaplain was accused of multiple instances of adultery and misconduct with a congregation member. Criminal disposition was successfully avoided, and the matter was resolved administratively.

Category: Military Success Stories

Navy O-6 Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Allegations Unsubstantiated

Senior Officer (O-6) Commanding Officer was accused of sexual misconduct by a crew member. After an extensive investigation, the criminal investigation was closed without substantiation, and the CO finished his command tour successfully.

Category: Military Success Stories

Navy Commanding Officer Cleared of Abusive Leadership Allegations

Senior Officer (O-6) Commanding Officer was accused of abusive leadership by multiple personnel through IG and formal 1150 complaints from various officers from the command.   The CO was not relieved of duty, and the matters were closed with no permanent adverse military personnel file entries.

Category: Military Success Stories