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11/24/2017 4:44:23 PM
11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 9/3/2004 9:25:49 AM EST
By James W. Crawley
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
September 3, 2004

Long before Las Vegas started advertising that "what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas," many sailors believed what happened overseas stayed overseas.

However, drug busts of SEAL commandos and support personnel this spring have made extracurricular carousing the unusual subject of courtroom testimony.

Yesterday, tales of late-night binge drinking, drug use and "bar girls" were described during a preliminary hearing for Petty Officer 2nd Class Seth Taylor, who is accused of using and distributing Ecstasy and ketamine while in Thailand in April and May.

Taylor is a Special Warfare combatant-craft crewman who worked alongside Navy SEALs.

The Navy has charged Taylor, Navy SEAL Lt. Scott Hobbs and other unnamed sailors with using drugs in Pattaya, Thailand, while the commandos and support personnel were training during an international naval exercise.

Three witnesses testified about working on commando boats during the day and then spending nights cruising the bars and go-go clubs on Pattaya Beach's infamous Walking Street.

"There were lots of nights I was drunk and don't remember what happened," Fireman Brian Rex told the investigating officer, Lt. Cmdr. Marc Guarin, who will recommend to Rear Adm. Joseph Maguire whether Taylor should be court-martialed.

"I was way, way too drunk," Rex added, telling how he blacked out once in a bar, waking up the next morning in Taylor's hotel room.

A key government witness, Fireman Elan Valladares, said he was not a heavy drinker, but got drunk several times in Thailand.

He testified that one night at a restaurant, he drank four beers, then he and others went to a bar for a few more beers – all within three hours. Then, at a go-go-bar, Club Electric Blue, he downed seven vodkas laced with an energy drink, he said.

Valladares testified that he and Taylor snorted a white powder in the club's back room. He said that within minutes, "I felt like I'd taken a bunch of painkillers."

Valladares also said Taylor later asked him if he wanted more of the substance he had ingested earlier. He testified that when he said yes, Taylor told him to give $20 to Hobbs, the SEAL officer, who handed Valladares a paper envelope containing what he thought was ketamine.

But Valladares said he never looked at the enclosed powder and didn't try it, and that he flushed it down a toilet the next day.

There was no testimony about lab tests on any suspected pills or powder.

Valladares said he capped off the night by going back to his hotel room with a "bar girl." Scantily dressed Thai bar girls will spend a night or several days with a bar patron for a fee. Sex is an extra charge.

"There's usually three or four girls hanging on every guy there," Petty Officer 3rd Class James Morrison testified.

The prosecution witnesses pleaded guilty to drug use at administrative hearings known as captain's masts. Their sentences, mainly base restrictions and pay cuts, were suspended in exchange for testifying for the government. They will be dismissed from the service, they said.

Yesterday, prosecutors dropped two counts against Taylor that alleged he had solicited sailors to use Ecstasy, a designer party drug, and ketamine, a veterinary tranquilizer that can give users a sense of euphoria.

Last month, another investigating officer held a hearing for Hobbs to determine if he will be tried on several drug charges. The decision has not been announced.

Five SEALs and three combatant-craft crewmen failed drug tests in Thailand in early May during Cobra Gold, an international naval exercise.

Because of the Thailand drug busts, Maguire ordered a worldwide drug sweep of the Special Warfare Command that netted six others, including three SEALs.

Link Posted: 9/3/2004 9:30:31 AM EST
wow sounds like navy life is pretty laid back

Do you live in san diego?

If so did you see that horrible editorial in the opinion section about Assault weapons.

It was the worst, all the facts were straight from VPC and HC, bunch of lies.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 9:31:30 AM EST
I've been to Pattaya Thailand before, and all I can say is it is easy to get carried away there.

The mention of "bar girls" and "go-go clubs" is tame compared to reality.

Beautiful place, beautiful people............. but getting hammered with drugs---bad decison
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 9:39:25 AM EST
"bar girls" why don't they just call them by their real name, hookers?
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:03:02 AM EST
I say let em do what they want as long as they get the job done properly.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:11:05 AM EST
that's what the libs said about Clinton...
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:11:22 AM EST
They make it sound as if SEALs and SWCC are the only ones getting hammered and have 'bar girls'. Whatever. Tell me that any soldier stationed in Germany hasn't done pretty well the same thing. The drugs I don't agree with, but making a national issue out of an elite combat unit's 'recreational activities' is not the best idea in the world. That stuff should be handled internally IMO.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:14:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By JoshD:
They make it sound as if SEALs and SWCC are the only ones getting hammered and have 'bar girls'. Whatever. Tell me that any soldier stationed in Germany hasn't done pretty well the same thing.



Yeah I agree, being away from friends,family,girlies sucks plus working your ass off just makes you want to relax a bit more.

What military man isn't going to want to spend some time with a "bar girl" now and then.
I kinda like that "no she is not a whore, shes a bar girl"
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:15:35 AM EST

"There were lots of nights I was drunk and don't remember what happened," Fireman Brian Rex told the investigating officer, Lt. Cmdr. Marc Guarin, who will recommend to Rear Adm. Joseph Maguire whether Taylor should be court-martialed.

"I was way, way too drunk," Rex added, telling how he blacked out once in a bar, waking up the next morning in Taylor's hotel room.

A key government witness, Fireman Elan Valladares, said he was not a heavy drinker, but got drunk several times in Thailand.

He testified that one night at a restaurant, he drank four beers, then he and others went to a bar for a few more beers – all within three hours. Then, at a go-go-bar, Club Electric Blue, he downed seven vodkas laced with an energy drink, he said.



Big fucking hairy deal.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:21:56 AM EST
Whew! Does this bring back memory's(except for the drug use). When I was in the Phillipines we would take $5-$10 dollars(American) exchange it and go out in town get drunk , get layed and get drunk again! Then with money we had left over(YUP!) we would either save it for the next night or go back on base and get something to eat. Ah yes, the fond memory's of decadence! Take care. Coondog
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:24:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dolomite:

"There were lots of nights I was drunk and don't remember what happened," Fireman Brian Rex told the investigating officer, Lt. Cmdr. Marc Guarin, who will recommend to Rear Adm. Joseph Maguire whether Taylor should be court-martialed.

"I was way, way too drunk," Rex added, telling how he blacked out once in a bar, waking up the next morning in Taylor's hotel room.

A key government witness, Fireman Elan Valladares, said he was not a heavy drinker, but got drunk several times in Thailand.

He testified that one night at a restaurant, he drank four beers, then he and others went to a bar for a few more beers – all within three hours. Then, at a go-go-bar, Club Electric Blue, he downed seven vodkas laced with an energy drink, he said.



Big fucking hairy deal.



laced? why not mixed? is a Reb Bull and vodka not a mixed drink?
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:26:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By DeadSled:

Originally Posted By Dolomite:

"There were lots of nights I was drunk and don't remember what happened," Fireman Brian Rex told the investigating officer, Lt. Cmdr. Marc Guarin, who will recommend to Rear Adm. Joseph Maguire whether Taylor should be court-martialed.

"I was way, way too drunk," Rex added, telling how he blacked out once in a bar, waking up the next morning in Taylor's hotel room.

A key government witness, Fireman Elan Valladares, said he was not a heavy drinker, but got drunk several times in Thailand.

He testified that one night at a restaurant, he drank four beers, then he and others went to a bar for a few more beers – all within three hours. Then, at a go-go-bar, Club Electric Blue, he downed seven vodkas laced with an energy drink, he said.



Big fucking hairy deal.



laced? why not mixed? is a Reb Bull and vodka not a mixed drink?



Whatever you call it, it tastes like shit.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:54:35 AM EST
I would like to go to Thailand.

The powder was Goodies headache powder.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:37:41 AM EST
A lot of crazy things happen overseas. However, drug use should not be tolerated, especially in spec-ops. Military has had random drug testing for quite some time. Anybody stupid enough to do drugs in any outfit in the military needs to be shit-canned. IMHO.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 3:55:52 PM EST
I spent FIVE months in Thailand.Deployed there twice.In 1996 and 1997 on temporary duty while stationed in Okinawa,Japan.Been to Pattaya,Hat Yai,and Songkla.Spent many a night "participating" in the local scene.But never was stupid enough to use drugs,especially knowing damn well as soon as we got back to Okinawa we'd get two tests 1) drug test 2) AIDS test.Those guys should have known better.

Semper Fi,
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