KODIAK, Alaska — The U.S. Coast Guard has initiated criminal proceedings against 12 service members following an investigation into possible drug activity on Alaska's Kodiak Island.
The agency removed several members in Kodiak from duty last fall as investigators examined allegations of members using illegal drugs, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Tuesday.
Six more members were disciplined in nonjudicial punishment proceedings, and they are "being processed for separation," the agency said in a statement.
The nonjudicial process does not result in criminal convictions, but could lead to punishments ranging from loss of pay to suspension, said Lt. Cmdr. Raymond Reichl, external affairs officer for the 17th Coast Guard District.
The investigation has not ended yet, so additional members could be charged or considered for nonjudicial punishment, the agency said. The criminal proceedings will occur under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The Coast Guard has not released the names of the service members facing criminal charges.
"The Coast Guard treats all allegations of illicit drug activity seriously," said Capt. Melissa Rivera, chief of staff for the Coast Guard district. "Drug use is prohibited, is a violation of both Coast Guard policy and federal law, and is in direct contradiction of our core values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty."
The agency did not disclose what prompted the investigation. Reichl said in October that investigators received an "indicator," and the scope of the probe was expanded after "more and more details unraveled."
The probe involved members from a variety of units, Reichl previously said.
The members targeted by the investigation were removed from duty status, meaning they were not allowed to participate in security watches, aircraft or boat duties, and other routine activities.