Three married Marine officers are under investigation after a wild night with local women in Bogota, Colombia, left them drugged, with less some property and in a hospital.
Marine Col. Roger T. McDuffie, Maj. Andrew L. Mueller and Maj. Mauricio Saenz are now staring down “appropriate administrative or judicial proceedings,” according to a report on the investigation into a fateful February night by Marine Corps Forces, South, and obtained by the Miami Herald.
The three men may be at minimum charged with “conduct unbecoming an officer,” as the report states the three men went into a section of Bogota service members are not permitted to go in February and stayed out well past the 1 a.m. curfew. On top of that, the three married officers brought four women back to their hotel rooms, where they had been staying as part of a conference called the Colombia Staff Planners Working Group.
The conference was intended to discuss future plans for coordination between the Marine Corps and Colombia.
But instead of flying home after the conference, the three men ended up in a local hospital on February 4, after being slipped benzodiazepine in their drinks, which occurred after other Marines had already gone back to their hotels and these three Marine officers decided to head into prohibited areas of Bogota.
Mueller and McDuffie blacked out when finally back at the hotel. Mueller’s work laptop, his work iPhone and his personal iPad and iPhone were stolen. McDuffie’s work iPhone 6 was stolen. All of the work equipment was government-issued.
“It is impossible to know at what point Col. McDuffie and Maj. Mueller were poisoned by their companions or when the drugs took effect,” Marine Col. Michael Farrell, chief of staff for MARFORSOUTH, wrote in the report. “It is indisputable however that Col. McDuffie and Maj. Mueller placed themselves in a situation that directly resulted in being drugged, robbed, hospitalized and the loss of U.S. government property.”
“The effects of this drug were magnified by a combination with the consumption of alcohol over an almost 11-hour period,” Farrell continued.
Saenz managed to avoid blacking out and didn’t appear to be drugged, but because he still participated in the activities with the other two officers, the report stated that “This conduct is prejudicial to good order and discipline.”
In 2012, a similar event took place in Colombia, albeit with secret service agents, who brought back prostitutes to their hotel in Cartagena before President Barack Obama arrived in the country. Several military personnel were involved in the incident.
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