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MPs Conduct Checkpoints at Bragg

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FORT BRAGG — Soldiers going in and out of Fort Bragg are advised to obey the law. Military police are conducting random checkpoints. They're looking for drugs, drunk drivers and stolen property.

From 10:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m., MPs randomly stop more than $100 cars. Several soldiers thoroughly search each car.

The drug dog is next. She too goes through the entire car or truck. Although MPs didn't find any stolen military equipment this time around, they say have in the past. That was the case in the arrest of a soldier at a checkpoint earlier this year.

"He comes in, we pop the trunk and out rolls all kinds of military property, which is prohibited for him to possess," recalls CPT Chris Layton. "It was a parachute and a reserve, and he also had loaded weapons in the vehicle."

The people stopped at checkpoint spend about 30 minutes going through the routine. They say it's time well spent.

"I don't mind a little bit of inconvenience if it gets drunks and drug dealers off the road," says motorists David Hedson. "That tickles me pink."

Military officials conduct these checkpoints several times a month-- always at different times and different locations to keep people from predicting where and when they'll be.

One-hundred-seven cars were pulled over at the checkpoint. Ninety-two were cleared. Police arrested two people for drunk driving, and one for possession of marijuana. Four people were driving without licenses, and two without registration. Four had no insurance. One person was cited for a bad headlight, and one for a motorcycle paperwork violation.

During an investigation of five years worth of computer records from area military installations, WRAL found 37 instances of weapons stolen or lost at Fort Bragg. Investigators say a lot of the stolen goods turn up at gun shows.

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John McDonnell, Reporter
Doug Bricker, Photographer
Kerrie Hudzinski, Web Editor

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