Two paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division died in their Fort Bragg barracks room Friday in a case that investigators suspect involves drugs.
Spc. Joshua Diamond, 35, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Pfc. Matthew Disney, 20, of Aberdeen, Maryland, were pronounced dead on the scene by emergency medical personnel at the North Carolina military installation. Army CID agents are investigating the deaths.
“At this point in the investigation we do have credible information that the soldiers were involved with illicit drugs,” said CID spokesman Chris Grey.
Diamond and Disney served as field artillery fire finder radar operators and were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, according to an 82nd Airborne Division press release.
Both soldiers joined the Army in 2019. Diamond arrived to Fort Bragg that same year and Disney arrived in 2020. Diamond also deployed to Iraq in 2020.
Col. Phillip J. Kiniery III, the soldiers’ brigade commander, called the loss a “tragedy.”
“We mourn the passing of Matthew and Joshua,” Kiniery said in a statement. “They remain part of our Family of Falcon Brigade Paratroopers. Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones and fellow Paratroopers during this difficult time.”
The potential link between the two soldiers’ deaths and illicit drugs comes on the heels of a drug bust that snagged a senior noncommissioned officer at Fort Bragg.
Master Sgt. Martin Acevedo III and his son were arrested in May for allegedly trafficking more than two kilograms of cocaine after the Department of Homeland Security and local authorities executed a search warrant at a home he owned.
The need to suppress illicit drugs on Army posts was underscored in December, after an independent committee reviewed the CID detachment at Fort Hood, in Texas.
The review found that there had been instances in which soldiers overdosed on drugs like methamphetamine and Fentanyl, but CID agents did not do enough to interview witnesses and identify associates.
“Drug overdoses should be fully investigated to determine where, when and how such drugs come into the possession of a soldier and who supplied the drugs for potential prosecution of the supplier and to cut off the flow of drugs to the post,” the Fort Hood review reads.
CID officials have said that they’re working to implement a series of reforms following that review, including adding more agents to detachments, bringing the organization under civilian control and increasing access to lab tests and other investigative resources where needed.