man-pleads-guilty-in-fentanyl-laced-drug-sale-to-west-point-cadets
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A gavel rests on the judge’s bench in the courtroom of the 39th Air Base Wing legal office at Nov. 14, 2019, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. (Staff Sgt. Joshua Magbanua/Air Force)

A 21-year-old man charged with selling fentanyl-laced cocaine to five U.S. Military Academy at West Point cadets and two others pleaded guilty on Dec. 29 at a federal court in Miami, Florida.

He now faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

Police arrested Axel Giovany “Gee” Casseus, arrested on March 10 after six men and one woman overdosed on fentanyl-laced cocaine and were left hospitalized, as well as selling nearly 44 grams of cocaine to an undercover police offer on March 11, 2022, according to court documents.

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For his admission of involvement, the government was willing to recommend a range of 9 to 15 years for sentencing, Casseus could also face a mandatory minimum of 20 years on the count of distributing cocaine laced with fentanyl. He is scheduled for sentencing on March 3.

The Sun-Sentinel also reported that the second charge of selling controlled substances to an undercover police officer carries a maximum of 20 years of federal prison time. Casseus also faces more than $1 million in fines on each charge — and must forfeit any financial gains made from the sale of drugs.

Two of the cadets, who would be put on ventilators after their overdose, met with Casseus on March 9 at a Fort Lauderdale beach. Casseus’s number was saved on one of the cadet’s phones as saved as “Gee fort Lauderdale plug” — and continued to communicate with Casseus till the next day at 4:30 pm.

An alleged accomplice named “Vontae” in the court records was not charged with a crime, even while Vontae’s phone records and Casseus’ ankle monitor from an unrelated charge showed them together at the time of the sale to the cadets.

After ingesting seven lines of cocaine, two of the five cadets immediately went into cardiac arrest.

Following a cheating scandal at West Point, the school got rid of a program that gave cadets a second chance if they were in violation of the school’s honor code — and is not expected to be kind to those involved in the overdosing.

“The tenets of honorable living remain immutable, and the outcomes of our leader development system remain the same, to graduate Army officers that live honorably, lead honorably and demonstrate excellence,” Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams said in a 2021 statement regarding the academy’s decision.

Zamone “Z” Perez is an editorial fellow at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa, where he helped produce podcasts. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched humanitarian intervention and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.

 

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