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SLAP ON THE WRIST

NEW YORK - Let's say you're a senior NCO, an E-7 with 18 years of service and you've been posted to Colombia as part of the U.S. Army's "anti-drug" operation.

Your wife is a ditzy drug addict who smuggles carefully wrapped packages of heroin into the United States via the Embassy post office. She makes several trips back to New York and returns with $25,000 in cash. You see it, but you never question her about it.

Then, to compound matters, you decide to use $14,000 of the drug money to pay off some bills. Everything is going just fine until your wife finally gets caught.

Is your next destination Leavenworth?

It is if you're an enlisted man or junior officer. But COL James Hiett, of Seaford, Virginia, isn't your run-of-the-mill crook. He's "Drug Czar" Barry McCaffrey's top man "fighting drugs" as head of the Military Group at the American Embassy in Bogota, and rank does have it's privileges.

This month he was sentenced in U.S. Federal Court to - get this - FIVE MONTHS in prison and five months of home detention for concealing knowledge his wife was laundering drug money while they lived in Bogota.

Somehow Judge Edward Korman, chief judge of the Eastern District of New York managed to keep a straight face as he
intoned: "Some term of imprisonment is required for this betrayal of trust." No kidding?

Under sentencing guidelines, the colonel could have gotten three years in the slammer and a $250,000 fine.

Hiett, who recently appeared with his giggling wife on "60 Minutes," has put in for retirement in November. Army officials said they've been waiting for Hiett's trial to wrap up before taking any action against the officer. That could range from no punishment to a court martial.

Which do you think it will be?


DID RETIRED COLONEL, HIGHEST-RANKING OFFICER IN ARMY HISTORY TO BE CHARGED WITH ESPIONAGE, WORK ALONE?

TAMPA, FLA. - MilitaryCorruption.com has learned Army investigators and the FBI are looking into the possibility other American officers may have aided retired COL George Trofimoff in his alleged spying over a 25-year period.

The 73-year old Reserve colonel is accused of selling military secrets to the Russians while he was a civilian employee of the
U.S. Army in West Germany. During his spy career, Trofimoff is alleged to have received $250,000.

He must have been valuable to the Russians. They awarded him the Order of the Red Banner for "bravery" and "self-sacrifice." Americans have another word for that.

Investigators want to know if the colonel had Army accomplices during the time he worked as civilian chief of the Nuremburg Joint Interrogation Center in Germany between 1969 and 1994.

At a hearing, U.S. Magistrate Mark Pizzo ordered Trominoff "held without bail."

The colonel's neighbors in his gated community of Melbourne, Fla. recalled him as a quiet man who worked as a bagger at a
local supermarket.

Some observers thought it ironic the retired officer and alleged KGB spy made his home on "Patriot Drive."


ARMY DOCTOR TO FACE COURT MARTIAL

WASHINGTON, D.C. - If you've ever wondered about the competence of the anesthetist just before he puts you under, you'll be interested in this.

CPT Michael G. Hamner, a resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, has been hit by a manslaughter charge in the death of a 16 year-old girl undergoing routine surgery.

The captain is accused of causing Katie Tyra's death "by improperly administering an antibiotic." Then, to make matters worse, Hamner is alleged to have lied about what happened.

The officer faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, dereliction of duty, and making false statements. If convicted at court martial, Hamner could be sentenced to more than 30 years in prison.


NAVY SHRINK HIT WITH SEX CHARGES

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - A Navy psychiatrist, charged with soliciting sex from two patients at the Marine Corps base here, faces court martial in September, authorities said.

Capt. Scott R. McClelland is accused of propositioning an active duty female Marine and the wife of an enlsited Marine. He also faces charges of adultery with a civilian woman.

The senior naval officer was arraigned here July 6 and his court martial is set to begin Sept. 11.

The charges include failure to obey an order, filing a false official statement, sodomy, conduct unbecoming an officer and one count of adultery. If found guilty on all charges, the doctor could get 24 years in prison.

McClelland appeared on national television last year as an "expert" on military "suicides."


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