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Police drop charges against 25 Fort Riley soldiers arrested at house party

Police have dropped all charges against the 25 soldiers from Fort Riley, Kansas, who were arrested earlier this month at a house party.

The soldiers, who had faced drug- and alcohol-related charges, still could be disciplined by their commanders.

"From our understanding, all charges have been dropped by police," said Master Sgt. Mike Lavigne, a spokesman for the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley. "There are still continuing investigations at the unit level, and those are handled individually on a case-by-case basis by commanders."

The incident happened Jan. 8.

Shortly before midnight, officers from the Grandview Plaza Police Department responded to a complaint about a loud party. A total of 27 people were arrested. Charges against them included misdemeanor possession of marijuana, criminal use of a weapon, hosting minors consuming alcohol, and unlawful noise, according to the police report.

The soldiers who were arrested were later released to their units.

Every soldier arrested that night was charged with possession of marijuana because of a single marijuana cigarette found at the party, officials said at the time, citing information the Army received from the police. No one admitted to owning the cigarette, so police officers cited everyone with possession.

Soldiers who were younger than 21 were also cited with underage drinking. One soldier, Spc. Ronald Jenkins, was also cited with unlawful noise and hosting of minors.

After the arrests, "a number of soldiers specifically requested to be tested to prove that they weren't illegally using marijuana," Lavigne said.

As of Friday, "no action has been taken at the unit level, but as all of those actions would be administrative in nature, we wouldn't discuss them anyway," he said.

While the Army's investigation into the events of that night continues, commanders are looking at each soldier's case individually, Lavigne said.

"There was no mass reaction, there was no one-size-fits-all," he said. "Each situation was weighed individually, which is how it was supposed to be done. Some people probably expected a mass overcorrection."

It's too soon to say if the soldiers might be punished, Lavigne said.

"We had a number of soldiers that said they were in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said. "Whether or not they were doing the wrong thing will bear out over time. We'll find that out over the course of our investigation."

Most of the soldiers involved were from the 1st Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team.

The soldiers who were arrested but no longer face charges, by unit, are:

2nd Battalion, 34th Armor, 1st Brigade Combat Team:

Pfc. Raymond Switala, 20, wheeled vehicle mechanic (91B).

1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team:

Pfc. Dequari Williams, 20, wheeled vehicle mechanic (91B).

101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team:

Pfc. Elwood Veney, 24, wheeled vehicle mechanic.

299th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team:

Spc. Vinson Woods, 25, utilities equipment repairer (91C).

1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team:

Pvt. Keaon Roberts, 21, field artillery surveyor/meteorological crewmember (13T).

Pvt. Shanon Rodgers, 22, cannon crewmember (13B).

Pvt. Ja'Quez Malone, 19, cannon crewmember.

Spc. Ronald Jenkins, 24, unit supply specialist (92Y).

Pvt. Chad Brown, 19, cannon crewmember.

Pfc. Nicholas Grate, 22, cannon crewmember.

Pfc. Brandon Schrader-Heake, 22, signal support systems specialist (25U).

Pvt. Christian Holloway, 23, cannon crewmember.

Pvt. Gavin Morton, 20, cannon crewmember.

1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team:

Pfc. Joseph Hughes Jr., 26, motor transport operator (88M).

Pfc. Justin Jones, 25, motor transport operator.

Spc. Kalonji Johnson, 24, motor transport operator.

Pvt. Vincent Scigliano, 19, motor transport operator.

Pfc. Devante McKenzie, 21, ammunition specialist (89B).

Spc. Jonte Goff, 24, infantryman (11B).

Pvt. Keondrey Horace, 19, motor transport operator.

1st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team:

Pfc. Freddie Lawson, 20, wheeled vehicle mechanic (91B).

1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade:

Pvt. Jasmine Battle, 19, ammunition specialist.

Pfc. Christopher Jackson, 21, petroleum supply specialist (92F).

Pfc. Maurice McGuire, 20, ammunition specialist.

97th Military Police Battalion:

Pfc. Lovely Pierre-Louie, 23, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist (74D).

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