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Local lieutenant court-martialed for drug, integrity crimes

VANDENBERG AFB, Calif. -- An officer was convicted of four crimes in a trial by general court-martial Jan. 18 here. 

Second Lt. Andrew Fox was imprisoned and punitively dismissed from the Air Force for his violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including: Article 86, absence without leave; Article 92, failure to obey; Article 107, false official statement; and Article 112(a), wrongful use of marijuana. 

Lieutenant Fox chose to stand trial before a military judge sitting alone, forgoing the option to be tried by a panel of officers. Capt. Laela Sharrieff, 30th Space Wing Judge Advocate, argued for the government, and Capt. Robert Stirk, Area Defense Counsel from Edwards AFB, represented Lieutenant Fox. 

The military judge sentenced the lieutenant to a punitive dismissal (roughly equivalent to a dishonorable discharge for enlisted personnel) and 90 days of confinement. A court-martial cannot reduce an officer in rank; however, any officer that is both dismissed and sentenced to a term of confinement automatically forfeits all pay and allowances during the period of confinement, as an operation of law. 

This was the second court-martial for Lieutenant Fox, who was stationed here with the 381st Training Support Squadron. In September 2007, he was tried at a fully-litigated general court-martial for using marijuana in March of that year, in violation of UCMJ Article 112(a). On Sept. 19, contrary to his plea of "not guilty," a panel of officers heard the urinalysis evidence and found him guilty, sentencing Lieutenant Fox to a dismissal and 45 days of confinement in the first trial. 

While serving his confinement term for the first court-martial, the government learned of new evidence of additional drug use in or around August or September of 2007. Lieutenant Fox remained in confinement here until 11 days after his second conviction, taking into account credit for his previous 76 days of pretrial confinement at Vandenberg and good time served.