Local News

2 Paratroopers Charged With Selling Drugs, Stolen Equipment

Posted June 21, 2007

— Two 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers have been charged with selling narcotics and stolen body armor to an undercover FBI agent last month.

Joffre J. "Trey" Cross III and Jason Scott Niewoit have been charged with selling controlled substances, carrying a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime and selling U.S. property without consent.

U.S. Magistrate Wallace W. Dixon ruled that the two soldiers posed a flight risk and a danger to the community and ordered them to be held without bond in the Durham County Jail.

"Both have been such disciplinary problems that they have been separated from their assigned units while awaiting discharge; both have aligned themselves with extremist groups in the U.S.," Dixon wrote in his order.

Federal court documents detail a May 24 meeting between Cross, Niewoit and an undercover FBI agent in the parking lot of a Hampton Inn in Concord. The two soldiers tried to sell the undercover agent medical supplies they said had been stolen from the Army, according to records.

After the agent rejected the medical supplies, the soldiers pulled out a desert-camouflaged, bullet-resistant vest with front and back protective plates and a helmet, which they sold to the undercover agent for $900, according to court records. Cross told the undercover agent that the vest was the same type troops used in Iraq and Afghanistan, records said.

The agent then purchased 30 vials of morphine sulfate for $450 and 12 vials of Diazepam for $120 from the soldiers, who had a cache of drugs inside a locked case, according to court documents.

Niewoit offered the undercover agent a second bullet-resistant vest with a single protective plate, and the agent purchased it for $400, records state. Cross also tried to sell a semiautomatic rifle to the undercover agent, but the agent refused, records said.

Dixon's detention order also stated that the two soldiers offered to sell a stolen military Humvee and a 105-mm howitzer.

Maj. Tom Earnhardt, a spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division, said Cross and Niewoit are in the process of separating from the Army for "patterns of misconduct," but he declined to elaborate. He said all indications point to the pair acting alone.


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  • lawdog143 Jun 22, 2007

    Why does everyone scream about the White Extremist gangs but nothing is said about all the Sur 13,Bloods,Crips and others that are in the military, and they are there, you see their tattoos every time they are in tee shirts, why dont they do something about them too.

  • the alliance Jun 22, 2007

    I've been in Army supply for 24 years and started in the 18th Airborne Corp. This brings discredit to the Armed Forces. Thats a shame. What were these guys thinking? The items need to be returned to the Army inventory as "Found on Installation" and a Report of Survey conducted.

  • wolfmandan Jun 22, 2007

    Here's an idea..Don't send them to jail..better yet..send them to Irag..hottest spot..Only..No body armor..No weapon..No clothes..

  • ExArmyWife Jun 22, 2007

    When we put on a uniform, of anytype, it has to stand for something. When we put on a uniform, and use it for a means of manipulating people or systems, it should not go unpunished. Find their link to this stuff they were stealing.

  • sixpointedbadge Jun 22, 2007

    Those guys were bad aples before they signed up. I inlisted and came out a better person than I was prior to signing up.It could have been different had I belonged to an outfit that was saluting Hitler.

  • floyd_lawson Jun 22, 2007

    Who was the undercover agent posing as? A gangbanger, terrorist, neo-nazi, etc... I can't imagine them thinking they could be selling these to harmless people. I hope this was their first attempt at this.

  • mythoughts22 Jun 22, 2007

    these boys should be ashamed of themselves these men should been getting respect for being in the 82nd Airbone but instead they are out selling drugs/stolen items. just a shame

  • Professor Studley Jun 22, 2007

    This is what gets left behind while our honorable neighbors risk their precious lives to protect our country's intrests? ... I cannot see how anyone can defend these men. They have stolen medication, as well as equipment that is VERY much needed by our soldiers. Sickening to say the least.

  • nowon_yuno Jun 22, 2007

    Meh, when I was stationed at Ft Stewart they used to bust people selling and or pawning their TA-50 issue all the time.

  • Notinitforthemoney Jun 22, 2007

    "both have aligned themselves with extremist groups in the U.S." Can someone please tell me where this says these two guys have terroristic goals.Don't get me wrong I don't think what they did was right and they should be punished. Basically what you have here is a case of Larceny by Employee and maybe Obtaining property by false pretense. They just did it on a government level and not a state level. I mean how much money does uncle sam steal from us every year and just give it to people who want to use and abuse our welfare and medicaid systems. To everything there is always a bigger picture you can't just look at one situation and take it as WRAL prints it.