Confidential informant brings drug offender to justice

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • OSI Public Affairs

To paraphrase the saying, ‘what you don’t know can hurt you,’ proved to be a painfully learned life lesson for an airman who brought an illegal drug from the United States to his overseas assignment.  

Airman 1st Class Devante King, assigned to the 721st Aerial Port Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, since 2019, pleaded guilty to four charges, and was subsequently sentenced by a military judge during his court-martial hearing June 14, 2021.

King, 23, received 171 days of confinement, reduced to the grade E-1, and given a bad conduct discharge for possessing, introducing to a U.S. military facility, distributing and wrongfully using the hallucinogenic drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

As the sole investigative agency working the case, Office of Special Investigations Detachment 515 at Ramstein was informed of possible drug distribution on the installation, and quickly began working the allegation by identifying a confidential informant (CI). 

“The agents involved in this case were constant professionals and were able to collect key evidence which resulted in the guilty plea,” said SA Jeremy Kohnekamp, Commander, Det. 515.    

Through the CI, Det. 515 special agents were able to purchase the suspected LSD, which was later confirmed though testing at the *United States Army Criminal Investigations Laboratory (USACIL).   

The full investigation took approximately seven months to complete, due to the USACIL schedule and coordination with the CI. The hard work of the special agents and Ramstein legal team paid off handsomely in the guilty plea and sentencing. 

“The teamwork shown between the Det and the Ramstein legal team was amazing to watch, and illustrated the importance of the relationship to ensure justice,” said SA Kohnekamp.

Due to court room availability, the court-martial, conducted by the 86th Airlift Wing Legal Office, was convened approximately 100 miles away at Spangdahlem AB, Germany.

*Editor’s Note: The USACIL is located within the Defense Forensic Science Center at the Gillem Enclave in Forest Park, Ga. The USACIL provides forensic laboratory services to DoD investigative agencies and other Federal law enforcement agencies. As the only full service forensic laboratory in the DoD, it trains special agents and investigators from the service branches in the Special Agent Laboratory Training Course.