Marines investigate drug & steroid use by Miramar firefighters - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Marines investigate alleged drug & steroid use by Miramar firefighters

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U.S. Marine Corps ARFF file photo U.S. Marine Corps ARFF file photo
MCAS Miramar ARFF station MCAS Miramar ARFF station

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR (CBS 8) -- Federal agents with the U.S. Marine Corps are investigating reports of drug and steroid use by firefighters at the Miramar Air Station.

Court records obtained by News 8 detail a reported drug sale on base and allegations of steroid use by Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) personnel.

The Miramar firefighters are trained to perform rescues in the event of an aircraft crash on base.

Two of the marines being questioned – one male and one female – live together in an apartment complex on East Lexington Avenue in El Cajon. No one was home when News 8 knocked on the door Tuesday morning.

Federal agents served a search warrant on the El Cajon apartment July 3, looking for steroids, hypodermic needles, and computer evidence showing controlled substances were purchased online, according to court records.

The federal search warrant said agents from the U.S. Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division (CID) received a report on June 27 of "drug distribution by... Marines assigned to the Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF) Section."

Agents later discovered evidence that Miramar firefighters were "injecting themselves and possibly each other with Steroids as well as sharing Steroids with other Marines assigned to the ARFF," according to the search warrant.

During an interrogation, one firefighter admitted to his involvement in an illegal drug deal on base, when he purchased the painkiller Vicodin from a fellow Marine "in the parking lot adjacent his barracks approximately 600 feet from Miramar College Satellite campus located on MCAS Miramar," the warrant stated.

The records show the two Marines who live at the El Cajon apartment were held in the Miramar Brig after agents found incriminating text messages and a cell phone photograph depicting steroid use at the apartment.

The picture showed "several Steroids sold by Geneza Pharmaceuticals believed to be specifically; Trenbolone, Drostanolone, Stanzolol, and Oxandrolone, all Schedule III substances," the warrant alleged.

News 8 is not naming the Miramar firefighters involved in the CID investigation because they have not been formally charged with a crime.

The investigation is ongoing and it's unclear exactly how many Marines may be involved.

***Update:

News 8 left repeated email and phone messages with the Public Affairs office at MCAS Miramar on Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, after this report aired, Capt. Anton T. Semelroth, deputy of pubic affairs and media officer for MCAS Miramar and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing emailed News 8 the following statement:

"It would be inappropriate for me to discuss an on-going criminal investigation.  What I can tell you is that we take allegations of drug use very seriously.  Drugs are not tolerated in the Marine Corps or on MCAS Miramar.  Our command will appropriately support the investigation to ensure justice is served."

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