Pubdate: Tue, 14 Aug 2007
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2007 Southam Inc.
Author: Rob Shaw, CanWest News Service
Bookmark: (Cocaine)


VICTORIA -- A third of the crew on a Canadian warship based at CFB 
Esquimalt in British Columbia used cocaine regularly, according to 
testimony at a military court martial.

The navy was quick to call the allegations of a clandestine drug 
operation on the ship surprising and disappointing.

Jason Ennis, a former leading seaman on-board HMCS Saskatoon, made 
the cocaine allegation on Friday in court, where he was found guilty 
of drug use and fined $2,000. He was acquitted on charges of 
trafficking drugs. Ennis, 24, was part of what appeared to be a 
widespread drug problem on-board HMCS Saskatoon, one of the fleet's 
12 Kingston-class warships, which are crewed mainly by reservists. 
The military ran an undercover operation in January, 2006, to gauge 
the extent of the drug use.

Ennis told court as many as 12 of the 31-person crew used cocaine 
regularly, and that the ship's crew was divided between non-users and 
the most senior members of the ship's company, who were taking drugs, 
CBC News reported.

He is one of four officers to face court martial proceedings as a 
result of the investigation.

The most senior officer accused is former chief petty officer Robert 
Carlson. Mr. Carlson faces drug possession and trafficking charges 
and is scheduled to appear in military court in the fall.

A ship's cook and a deckhand were each fined $500 and given suspended 
sentences in earlier proceedings. All four were reservists and have 
left the Forces, the military said yesterday.
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