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Army Special Forces Soldier Indicted For Allegedly Trying To Smuggle 90 Pounds Of Cocaine Into US
An Army 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) soldier faces trial next month in U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Florida, on two counts of conspiring in the trafficking of cocaine.
Master Sgt. Daniel J. Gould was indicted last month by a federal grand jury. The indictment was sealed until Tuesday after Gould entered pleas of not guilty to the charges. His trial is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 13 in Pensacola, according to Amy Alexander, public information officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida.
Gould could face sentences ranging from 10 years to life on each charge, Alexander said.
Specifically, the first count of the indictment alleges that between Jan. 1 and Aug. 13 Gould "did knowingly and willfully combine, conspire, confederate and agree with other persons to distribute a controlled substance ... containing a detectable amount of cocaine, intending, knowing and having reasonable cause to believe that such a substance would be unlawfully imported into the United States ... ."
The second count mirrors the language of the first count, additionally alleging that Gould conspired "to distribute and possess with intent to distribute" a "substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine ... ."
The September indictment came a little more than a month after reports surfaced that Gould allegedly had attempted to smuggle cocaine into the United States from Colombia. Gould reportedly was arrested after two "heavy bags" filled with nearly 90 pounds of cocaine were intercepted at the U.S. Embassy in Colombia. The "heavy bags" — punching bags used by athletes — reportedly were bound for an aircraft heading to Eglin Air Force Base, headquarters of the 7th Group.
The bags were intercepted by another Special Forces soldier who was suspicious of its contents. The cocaine was discovered after the bags were X-rayed by Colombian officials.
Colombia is part of the 7th Group's area of responsibility, but Gould had been on vacation — not on military duty — before the discovery of the punching bags. He already was back in the United States when the bags were intercepted.
Gould was contacted by U.S. law enforcement authorities after the discovery, but until Tuesday's release of the indictment and the report that Gould faces trial next month, military and civilian officials had not commented on the case in any detail.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency led the investigation into the alleged cocaine smuggling, with assistance from the Army's Criminal Investigation Division, Colombian authorities and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida.
A few weeks ago, Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, citing informed sources and their own investigative work, reported the DEA was "trying to reconstruct what ... Daniel James Gould did between August 4 and 12 in (the Colombian city of) Cali." El Tiempo also contended "the efforts of the DEA (were) focused on establishing who helped Gould get and move the (cocaine)."
According to a 2010 Army news release, Gould was awarded a Silver Star, the nation's third-highest military honor, for actions during the 7th Group's 2007-08 deployment to Afghanistan. The 7th Group moved from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Eglin Air Force Base in 2011.
©2018 the Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
13 Marines at Camp Pendleton charged with crimes related to smuggling of undocumented immigrants from Mexico
Thirteen Marines have been formally charged for their alleged roles in a human smuggling ring, according to a press release from 1st Marine Division released on Friday.
The Marines face military court proceedings on various charges, from "alleged transporting and/or conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants" to larceny, perjury, distribution of drugs, and failure to obey an order. "They remain innocent until proven guilty," said spokeswoman Maj. Kendra Motz.
The recruiting commercials for the Army Reserve proclaim "one weekend each month," but the real-life Army Reserve might as well say "hold my beer."
That's because the weekend "recruiting hook" — as it's called in a leaked document compiled by Army personnel for the new chief of staff — reveal that it's, well, kinda bullshit.
When they're not activated or deployed, most reservists and guardsmen spend one weekend a month on duty and two weeks a year training, according to the Army recruiting website. But that claim doesn't seem to square with reality.
"The Army Reserve is cashing in on uncompensated sacrifices of its Soldiers on a scale that must be in the tens of millions of dollars, and that is a violation of trust, stewardship, and the Army Values," one Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, who also complained that his battalion commander "demanded" that he be available at all times, told members of an Army Transition Team earlier this year.
According to an internal Army document, soldiers feel that the service's overwhelming focus on readiness is wearing down the force, and leading some unit leaders to fudge the truth on their unit's readiness.
"Soldiers in all three Army Components assess themselves and their unit as less ready to perform their wartime mission, despite an increased focus on readiness," reads the document, which was put together by the Army Transition Team for new Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and obtained by Task & Purpose. "The drive to attain the highest levels of readiness has led some unit leaders to inaccurately report readiness."
Lt. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, who served as the director of the transition team, said in the document's opening that though the surveys conducted are not scientific, the feedback "is honest and emblematic of the force as a whole taken from seven installations and over 400 respondents."
Those surveyed were asked to weigh in on four questions — one of which being what the Army isn't doing right. One of the themes that emerged from the answers is that "[r]eadiness demands are breaking the force."
The Army thinks China will surpass Russia by 2028. Here is how the service is planning to take them on.
If you've paid even the slightest bit of attention in the last few years, you know that the Pentagon has been zeroing in on the threat that China and Russia pose, and the future battles it anticipates.
The Army has followed suit, pushing to modernize its force to be ready for whatever comes its way. As part of its modernization, the Army adopted the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) concept, which serves as the Army's main war-fighting doctrine and lays the groundwork for how the force will fight near-peer threats like Russia and China across land, air, sea, cyber, and space.
But in an internal document obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army Transition Team for the new Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, argues that China poses a more immediate threat than Russia, so the Army needs make the Asia-Pacific region its priority while deploying "minimal current conventional forces" in Europe to deter Russia.
In leaked documents, Army family reports waiting weeks to have gas line and roof leaks fixed in on-base housing
As the saying goes, you recruit the soldier, but you retain the family.
And according to internal documents obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army still has substantial work to do in addressing families' concerns.