Ex-Navy pilot sent to
BY PAUL SNUKOVSKY; P-I reporter: June 15,
A former Navy pilot who used his uniform to
smuggle the psychotropic drug Ecstasy across the Canadian border was sentenced
to almost four years in federal prison yesterday.
Lt. Alan Vaughn, 29,
who once flew top-secret, surveillance planes out of Whidbey island Naval Air
Station, "has tarnished the image of all members of the Naval service by his
selfish actions," wrote Rear Admiral L. Hering in a letter to U.S. District
Judge Marsha Pechman. "He threatens the fine reputation and steadfast commitment
of the men and women of the naval service who are deserving of the utmost
respect and recognition."
Vaughn, after reading Hering's letter, stood
at attention before Pechman and said: "I agree wholeheartedly with the admiral.
I have a lot of shame."
The case against Vaughn began in January when
a confidential informant told investigators that Vaughn was trafficking in the
drug. Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Navy Criminal
Investigative Service wired an informant with a recorder, and the informant then
bought an ounce of Ecstasy from Vaughn for $1,500, according to court
Vaughn was caught on tape saying he used his military ID
card to avoid inspection by customs officers at the border when he was smuggling
the drug. Court documents quote the pilot as saying "he was not worried about
the border crossing because of his appearance, naval officer status, and not
being a 'profile subject.’”
He was arrested on Feb. 21 after crossing
the border from Canada. He presented his military ID, but customs inspectors had
been tipped off that he had drugs. A search uncovered enough Ecstasy to produce
over 1,000 doses, wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Friedman.
was discharged under "other than honorable" conditions.