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March 2012
Tim Bilecki

Marine Charged After Unknowingly Ingesting Spice-Laced Cigar, Bilecki Steps In

Wrongful Use of Spice x 2 (Article 92)
Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
Marine Master Sergeant E-7
One grade reduction, 30 days confinement, no punitive discharge.

A Marine Corps Master Sergeant stationed at MCBH was charged with wrongful use of Spice after being taken to the hospital due to a bad reaction to a cigar that was laced with Spice. Despite a nearly 20-year outstanding record of service to the Marines with no prior misconduct, the government court-martialed our client and tried to kick him out of the military due to one incident with Spice.

In this case, our client was new to the island and met a girl at a local hostess bar with whom he later went out on a date. During the date, the two stopped at a local smoke shop in Waikiki and went back to a hotel room. While up in the hotel room, the female was smoking the cigar, and our client did not have any memory of what happened after. A few moments later, our client apparently had a negative reaction to the cigar and passed out.

The young lady then dialed 9-1-1, and Honolulu Police and Paramedics arrived at the hotel. The Marine was transported to the Tripler Army Medical Center Emergency Room. The female then told Honolulu Police Department that the two of them smoked spice, and she handed the paramedic a package of “Super Kush” that she said had been put into the cigar. Military law enforcement took over the case and had the “Super Kush” sent to the USACIL lab to be tested. It came back positive for AM-2201, a controlled substance analog and a synthetic THC agonist.

Mr. Bilecki, an Article 112a UCMJ military drug defense attorney, fought the charges and put on the defense of innocent ingestion. Given the military’s current posture on Spice, we took the case before a military judge alone, foregoing a jury. At the end of the trial, our client was convicted of one of the order violation charges, and the other was dismissed as an unreasonable multiplication of charges. We continued to fight during the sentencing phase of the trial in order to save our client’s retirement.

After a hard-fought sentencing hearing, our client was sentenced to a one-grade reduction and 30 days in the brig. NO discharge. The defense was then able to have the confinement deferred.

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