At age 37, William Billy Lavigne II was a true Tier 1 operator, a master sergeant on the Armys most selective and clandestine task force. Pentagon Finally Stops Hiding Military Overdose Epidemic Spc. Me and my mom being Catholic, it was difficult to understand., Fort Bragg was on quarantine and soldiers forbidden from traveling far from base, but seven paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division snuck off for a Memorial Day weekend camping trip at Cape Lookout National Seashore, a barrier island on the gray coast of the Carolinas. Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, he says, pretty much anywhere the U.S. had anything going on between 2006 and 2018, he was there. By 2012, he had made the ultra-selective cut for Delta Force, which rejects the overwhelming majority of Rangers and Green Berets invited to try out. Hughes was an unmanned aerial vehicle operator assigned to the A Troop, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. The onslaught totaled the neighbors car, which Sarah tried to hide behind. I have to prove that he was not in his right mind, she says. Ever since he killed Leshikar, he had been in a downward spiral. If you had a problem, you could count on Bryan to help.. Such a pigheaded, egotistical man was the first impression he made on his wife, Laura, a 39-year-old paralegal from Hawaii whose dad was a Marine. July 17, 2021 (83 years old) View obituary. It was late at night and she was out front smoking a cigarette. A burial was held on Monday, April 24th 2023 at the Rose Memorial Park (760 N Franklin St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437). Her brother was the same way. hree weeks before Christmas, in the piney woods outside of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, a deer hunter came across the fallout from a firefight that, to date, no one has been able to explain. We are far from the flagpole and are expected to be incorruptible.. Leave a sympathy message to the family on the memorial page of Carol Ann Brown to pay them a last tribute. The recent reports of fatal drug overdoses out of military installations like Fort Bragg are alarming, Sen. Markey said in a statement to Rolling Stone. Fish ate them, says his sister (above at her brothers funeral and on the beach where his remains were found). Enrique was blind as fuck without his glasses, Romero says. In November, yet another soldier, a 24-year-old Texan, was discovered unresponsive in his bunk, with no further details from the Army. Weve been looking for him all day. Lavigne was entitled to a variety of due process protections. He was a three-time volunteer on his second combat deployment, said Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, the commander of the 82nd. They are a very hush-hush community, says Diane Ballard, a police detective in the tiny town of Vass, where numerous Delta Force operators, current and retired, own houses. He told the county investigator that Leshikar had come at him with a screwdriver, leaving him no choice but to shoot in self-defense, supposedly for the protection of the children. There were a couple others that were with us, she tells me, drinking and partying. The man in the bed of the truck, by contrast, didnt have to inflate his military credentials. Virtually everything to do with this organization is classified, says Sean Naylor, author of Relentless Strike, a history of JSOC. LaVigne died of multiple gunshot wounds and was shot by (an) unknown person, his death certificate states. Its a horrible photo, Nicole says, like hes already dead. In real life, she says, he was more handsome: tall and bald, with a neatly trimmed beard. He once saw him using LSD at a barracks party, he says. You would not believe how many people I have reached out to. Governor Roy Cooper ordered all U.S. and North Carolina flags at state facilities to half-staff beginning immediately until sunset Wednesday, April 26, in honor of U.S. Army Sgt. When they found my brothers remains, he didnt even have eyes. Three unnamed Navy SEALs told CBS in 2017 that various teammates of theirs had tested positive for cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, and heroin, and that the substance-abuse problem was growing. In 2014, a Navy SEAL named Angel Martinez-Ramos pleaded guilty after being arrested at Miamis airport with 10 kilos of cocaine in his carry-on. Three Fort Bragg soldiers died while deployed overseas in 2020, according to the Department of Defense. Pvt. Some of them are really great. A small boy about waist high is dancing next to a laundry hamper to music from the television. CID rejects any notion that anything but a complete and unbiased investigation was conducted, Grey says. That he would take care of him permanently. Not only was he a decorated Green Beret with dozens of badges and patches and medals from 14 different deployments, he was also a member of Delta Force, the most elite military unit in the United States. That number is significantly more than at any other U.S. military base, despite Fort Hood and Fort Bliss having had freakishly violent years of their own. In May of that year, he met Mark Leshikar, another stubborn, hardheaded country boy from way up north. Though the offense was a felony, he was not charged. Did he struggle with drugs, alcohol, cocaine, tramadol? The justification was unconvincing on its face. Out of nowhere, she says, this tall, baldheaded black dude comes up with a skinny black guy with dreads. Him and my brother had similar features., Leshikar, bearded and scowling in most photos, was six-foot-four, with a square jaw, a head of light-brown hair, and tattooed shoulders. Thats when he made the statement that if I wanted my husband gone, he could take care of it, she says. Tammy Mabey, Leshikars mom, had spent 18 years in law enforcement, working as a dispatcher, a jailer, and a patrolwoman in California, Idaho, and Nevada. Its just wonderful, she said. He kind of represented himself as an SF operator, she says, though he was just a logistics guy. Yet there were no firearms to be found at the scene, and no trace of the third man, the surviving shooter. In the three years since, De Nola has tried to lobby members of the House of Representatives to investigate opioid abuse in the military, but until now, there hasnt been any real action at the federal level. Nevertheless, local officials were satisfied by Lavignes claim of self-defense. Terrance Salazar, 24, of Pleasanton, Texas, was found unresponsive in his room Nov. 11 and could not be revived, a spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division said. It was his last hoorah, says Nicole, who spoke to her brother for a final time on St. Patricks Day. In just 18 months, Fort Bragg lost over 80 soldiers from sudden and unexplained causes. He was taken home that same night by some of his Delta Force teammates. El tipo que peg el tiro aqu, she says, pointing to a small black hole in the wall: The guy who fired a shot through here., The other woman, whom Ill call Estella, tells me the story in English. Succession Recap: Logan Roy Makes Shock Return, Shiv and Tom Get Kinky But he had a gun. There was another vivid memory that particularly bothered him: walking through the rubble of a demolished city with a Belgian Malinois, a service dog, and allowing the animal to eat the brains from a dead mans broken skull as a treat.. He was deployed to Saudi Arabia when he read on Facebook that Roman-Martinez, whom hed known since middle school, had gone missing. Lt. Col. Val Moro, commander of 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, said those who served with Mount will mourn his loss. We were trying to find the park ranger or their offices, or anything.. They didnt do anything., So far, we have not been able to determine that that call on the 11th of December actually happened, says Maj. Lessard. His care-free, easygoing personality made him approachable and well-loved, Moro said. The modus operandi that investigators have shown in these cases is to shut out the public, decline to answer questions, apprehend no perpetrators. Just not very well. In July 2018, around the time he and his dad had to flee from that Independence Day fireworks show, he called Mabey to beg her forgiveness for killing her son. 0:04. Cruz De Leon was an infantryman assigned to the divisions Company A, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. MILITARY. Editors picks He joined the Army in April of 2018 and arrived at Fort Bragg in October of 2018. He returned to active duty in 2010 and was assigned to his current unit. The base so far this year has seen five homicides, seven suicides, eight accidents, two illnesses and five deaths that are still under investigation. Boyd spent the majority of her career assigned to the 4th and 8th Psychological Operations Groups at Fort Bragg, officials said. He sounded somewhat normal, but anxious and preoccupied. Only two months remained before he would become eligible for retirement. A day after the bodies were found, an unnamed Army official leaked to CBS that both Lavigne and Dumas, at the time of their deaths, were under investigation for trafficking narcotics on Fort Bragg, and that investigators suspected a double homicide from a drug deal gone wrong. The 50 Worst Decisions in Music History 2023 Rolling Stone, LLC. He was assigned to the Special Warfare Medical Group in October 2019, for medical rehabilitation of a training injury, officials said. Inside the Rash of Unexplained Deaths at Fort Hood | Vanity Fair For David George and Sarah Hartsfield, the first eight months of 2018 were marked by death and destruction. Edward Allen Bellis III. Both men had young daughters. Even though some people use the term interchangeably, they are The Army said it was investigating the deaths last week of a Green Beret and an Army veteran whose bodies were found in a training area at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He was a human resource specialist in the 82nd Airborne Divisions 37th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. Roman-Martinezs partial remains were later found May 29, after washing up on Shackleford Banks Island, which is part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore. ArMA is the primary source for non-emergency issues (Priority-2 & Priority-3) demand maintenance order (DMO) submissions. That broke me, Romero says. I hurt Sarah, and my career is ruined. I talked to him for a long time. In the bed of the truck and on the ground beside it were two dead men. The report, released in early 2020, was mostly a whitewash, full of vague language about improving leadership and accountability. Half of those deaths have been ruled suicides. She also retrieved her Glock from the bedroom and stuck it under a couch cushion. Tracie Augusta Smith. He was promoted to master sergeant in July, becoming an operations team sergeant for a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha, officials said. Nice, normal people. Others, she says, are narcissistic, or have some other character defect that produces a sense of entitlement, like they can get away with anything. Maj. Gregory Seymour became Fort Bragg garrison's senior enlisted adviser Feb. 24. A memorial service today at Fort Bragg makes 25 years since the 82nd Airborne Division suffered its biggest one-day loss of life since World War II. Her brother enlisted for a steady paycheck and for the GI Bill. When they were doing cocaine, Mabey says, he always acted perfectly fine. Army authorities wont disclose the total number of soldiers stationed there who died in 2020, but Lavigne was one of a spate of homicides and suicides that brought the tally up to at least 44, pushing Fort Bragg to a decisive first-place finish in a race no one wanted to win. Hed read an article about hallucinogenic mushrooms, she says. More: John Wayne helped pay for a Fort Bragg statue, theres a time capsule with JFK's letter and other tidbits about Fort Bragg's monuments. But he scared me., a copy of which was first obtained by Jack Murphy of. Words his sister uses to describe him include gentle, spiritual, and feminist. He was a hippie, a believer in crystals, she says. Sgt. Lewis followed her outside, holding their three-year-old daughter on one hip and a gun in the other hand. He was two years younger than Lavigne and had recently completed Special Forces selection, a rugged, punishing Fort Bragg program known as the Q-course. Personnel numbers are also kept secret, but two years ago, a retired Delta Force colonel, a veteran of the Iraq War, told me that the unit is made up of about 250 operators, plus another 2,000 support troops. The FBI is also investigating the deaths of Dumas and Lavigne, and has taken the lead in the case, according to CID. 'These Kids Are Dying' Inside the Overdose Crisis Sweeping Fort Bragg Eric Christopher Hogan and Pfc. It went from being very rarely used to becoming, in the post-9/11 era, an organization that was running a dozen missions a night around the world., Those missions often take place in failed states or amid frozen conflicts where the United States has no acknowledged presence, and American soldiers operate in a grey zone where morality and ethics are in the eye of the beholder, and everything goes so long as the mission is accomplished and your tactics arent known to the public or explicitly to the higher-ups, as one former Green Beret writes me from federal prison, where he is doing time for smuggling 50 kilos of cocaine into Florida on a military aircraft. According to officials, 33 of the fatalities are of undetermined causes. A Fort Bragg spokesperson identified the soldier as Sgt. Absolutely. Staff writer Rachael Riley can be reached at or 910-486-3528. Fort Bragg is home to two of the most important formations in the Pentagons sprawling, complex special-operations bureaucracy: the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, or USASOC, which includes the Rangers and the Green Berets; and JSOC, the black ops component of the military. These are highlights of a significantly lengthier list. Editors Note: This report is limited to the latest information obtained by SOFREP about the death of MSG Lavigne and Timothy Dumas. Over time though, he grew on me.. A warrant for his arrest was issued, and this time, for whatever reason, the charge was not dropped. He served as an Army sergeant for almost seven years and was deployed three times with one combat tour in Iraq. In 2018, former senior special-forces sergeants Daniel Gould and Henry Royer were busted trying to import punching bags that had been gutted and packed with cocaine from Colombia. In early 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic descended on the United States, his run-ins with the law became more frequent. He was in an IED blast. A Dallas County jury awarded more than $860 million to the parents of a woman killed in 2019 when a 200-foot steel crane toppled onto her apartment building from an adjacent construction site. Jamie Wyatt Boger, of Ohio, was found unresponsive in his barracks room on March 16, officials said in a news release. Priority 1, life/health/safety, issues will still be accepted via same day call-ins or drop-offs, call (910) Sgt. Crime-scene technicians would have photographed it on December 2nd, when they turned aside the nylon blanket he was wrapped in and saw him barefoot and shirtless, shot multiple times in the chest. The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time Even though its a closed case, Laura says, they told us the investigation doesnt see the public eye.. Congress has finally taken notice of an unprecedented wave of fatalities at Fort Bragg, some 17 months after Rolling Stone first brought attention to an apparent drug crisis at the base. CIA Director, Noam Chomsky Named in Epstein's Private Calendar: Report FORT BRAGG A soldier is being mourned after he was killed during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, officials said Friday. Im a monster. The remaining three are still at large from incidents in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Queens, N.Y., and Detroit, Mich. Leshikars killing was ruled a justifiable homicide, but Swain declines to say on what grounds investigators came to that conclusion. The three-year-old was either let go by Keith or slipped free, and went running into the arms of one of the officers who responded to the scene. Absolutely. But she was acquainted with Timothy Dumas, the 44-year-old veteran who was found dead alongside him. And when my daddy looked up, I could see he wasnt there anymore.. His rudeness annoyed her. Well, I got 120.. I dont know any soldier who has done the tours he had done that doesnt., That was certainly the case with Lavigne. He expressed political disagreements with Leshikar, who was of the opinion that the United States ought to nuke the Middle East and be done with it. Pfc. Joshua Diamond, 35, of Plymouth, Mass. His use of alcohol was of even greater concern. She claims to have known Lavigne well, and to have seen him do cocaine, crystal meth, and heroin. And there have been several murders in the last few years around Fort Bragg with apparent links to drug-trafficking by elite soldiers, or distribution networks run by ordinary enlisted men in the 82nd. Mount was assigned to 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. Zygarowski, who enlisted in the Army in 2018, was a mechanic assigned to As a psychological operations specialist, Boyd deployed eight times, including tours to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, the Philippinesand Lithuania. Its just like taking an antidepressant, he would say. 3 Sarah Lewis, 34, was allegedly shot dead by her husband Staff Sgt Keith Lewis Credit: Facebook 3 As the madness of 2020 settled over the country, bringing with it a nationwide wave of drug abuse and violent crime, Lavigne was also spinning out of control. This data emerged amid increasing awareness of rising rates of drug use notably of cocaine and steroids in the Special Operations Forces. Half of those deaths have been ruled suicides. She shows me the brief clip on her phone. He was deadly serious., She pretended to laugh it off, and when Dumas left to get a part from the hardware store, she called her neighbors to come over and sit with her. As far as is known, the first time 2nd Lt. Bryant met Sgt. Daddy started walking towards Uncle Billy, and Uncle Billy started shooting him. Zygarowski, who enlisted in the Army in 2018, was a mechanic assigned to Trending On Friday night, there was a thunderstorm. July 3, 2022 (91 years old) View obituary. Through the intercom she says that she is just as clueless as anyone else and that she and Dumas led separate lives.. Both had been killed by gunshots, and according to news reports, shell casings were scattered on the ground. The young soldier who called 911 also told the dispatcher, unprompted, that Roman-Martinez had suicidal tendencies, which his sister strenuously disputes. Send us a tip using our anonymous form. He tried to rationalize it, telling his mom that he and his fellow Green Berets would snort coke to stay awake on sleepless missions. He changed dramatically in a short period of time, says his father, who came from Michigan to stay with him after the shooting. In light of this disturbing trend, the letter reads, we write seeking a full understanding of the pattern of overdoses., Sen. Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts who has sponsored a number of bills to combat the opioid epidemic, is spearheading the oversight effort. As soon as the rockets began to burst, We had to get out of there. Military and Civilian personnel must register for ArMA to submit DMOs. He was from a suburb of Los Angeles called Chino. The island is small, with few trees and a thick crowd of people that weekend. Had it been properly looked into, she says, all the bodies and drugs that have come in the last two and a half years might have been avoided.. He was the rock in my life. He doesnt believe the story told by the other six campers that Roman-Martinez simply wandered off at night, leaving his phone, wallet, and glasses behind in the tent. He was the oddity amongst the special-forces guys I was introduced to., In the one picture of Lavigne that exists in the public domain, his official Army portrait, his head looks like a white egg, and his face has the pale and drawn appearance of a man who has just shorn off a beard and shaved his scalp to the skin. .An Idaho forensic pathologist on Wednesday detailed how doomsday mom Lori Vallows two children were killed in 2019, including how her 7-year-old son was allegedly strangled to death by a plastic bag over his head and duct Mount joined the Army in January 2016 and came to Fort Bragg in June 2016. Editors picks The cause of death was homicide. Related He never responded again., UPDATE: After this story went to press, a U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesperson gave this statement to Rolling Stone regarding how the command handled Billy Lavignes legal trouble: Due to his length of service, Master Sgt. He attended Special Forces Assessment and Selection and graduated as a Special Forces engineer sergeant in October 2007, beingassigned to the 19th Special Forces Groups 2nd Battalion. The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time Mount is survived by his wife and parents. Matthew Disney, 20, of Aberdeen, Maryland. A memorial service today at Fort Bragg makes 25 years since the 82nd Airborne Division suffered its biggest one-day loss of life since World War II.The Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told Rolling Stone that recent medical studies showed a fast and dramatic rise in the number of fatal overdoses among active-duty military men. Sgt. MILITARY. Graves was the night she died. During the eight-hour drive back to North Carolina, Laura split off to take her sister to the airport in Raleigh. Fayetteville Police did not respond to multiple requests for more information. After releasing news of his death, LaVignes unit focused on his military service, which included multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism while assigned to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. The DA, Billy West, did not respond to requests for comment but told the Fayetteville Observer that two other people whod been at Lavignes house took responsibility for the drugs. Were still looking into it.. Dec. 7, 2020. The problems persisted. He sincerely felt it was the key to mental illness, a cure for depression, PTSD., Roman-Martinez had poor eyesight and wore thick glasses above a friendly smile. Appropriate adverse action, which was previously initiated in response to substantiated misconduct, was being finalized at the time of Master Sgt. View obituary. Nathan Goodman, 36, of Hope Mills, died Jan. 14, 2020, in a free-fall training exercise near Eloy, Arizona. The 172,000-acre Fort Bragg base is one of the world's largest military complexes with approximately 57,000 military personnel, 11,000 civilian employees and 23,000 family members. But when she called her husband on FaceTime, he seemed perfectly normal, leading her to conclude that they were playing a joke on her. Sheriffs deputies took him to the station, but he was never placed under arrest or charged with a crime. Roman-Martinez joined the Army in September 2016. They were identified as Master Sgt. In the few photos of Delta Force that exist in the public domain, their faces are blurred or blacked out, their identities classified. Roman-Martinezs partial remains had washed up on Shackleford Banks a few days later, but in the six months since then, few details had been forthcoming. Goodman was in the 3rd Special Forces Groups 2nd Battalion, according to the statement. Families want answers. Lavignes death., Pentagon Finally Stops Hiding Military Overdose Epidemic, Senators Press Pentagon for Answers on Rash of Overdose Deaths, These Kids Are Dying Inside the Overdose Crisis Sweeping Fort Bragg. Goodman was born in Pasadena, California, but grew up near Chicago andenlisted in July 2002 and transferred to the Army National Guard in 2005. Sens. George Allen taught Villalon at East Aurora High School. Two days after Dumas and Lavigne were found dead, more details emerged on an earlier Fort Bragg killing: the death of Specialist Enrique Roman-Martinez, who had gone missing over Memorial Day weekend on a camping trip to the North Carolina shore with six of his fellow paratroopers. After completing basic combat training and advanced individual training in 2019 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he was assigned to the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, where he served as a combat engineer. Estella called the Fayetteville police, who filed an incident report. Sgt. The Army Criminal Investigation Command is investigating the death as a homicide, as an autopsy report states he was decapitated. He sped off from the scene and was charged with a hit-and-run. Officials said foul play was not suspected. Pvt. User may use CAC to register and log in. Most recent obituaries in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. FORT BRAGG A soldier is being mourned after he was killed during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, officials said Friday. He called me and said, Mom, Ive got a gun to my head. Fish ate them, Griselda says, and begins to cry. Barry Recap: A Tragic Death Shakes Up Bill Haders Dark Satire Fort Bragg soldier found dead in barracks; mother questions death Night had fallen, and the suburban cul-de-sac was lit up by emergency lights. What is the protocol for informing family in the event of an overdose, including non-fatal overdoses. In 2016, he was assigned to the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, where he served as a horizontal construction engineer and later as a squad leader. These incidents, the letter read, indicate a problem that may be underreported, and are a call for urgent action. They were joined by Lavigne, the girls godfather, whom she called Uncle Billy, and his daughter, who was like a younger cousin to her. It's a tremendous loss for all of us,Carroll said. The Army said two soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg died Monday in unrelated deaths that shook the community at the North Carolina base. In any event, there is no court record showing that he was ever prosecuted. Estella thought he was joking. Lloyd Austin, citing, Senators Press Pentagon for Answers on Rash of Overdose Deaths, Pentagon Finally Stops Hiding Military Overdose Epidemic, These Kids Are Dying Inside the Overdose Crisis Sweeping Fort Bragg, Bernie Sanders: Many GOP Leaders 'Don't Even Believe in Democracy', Ted Cruz Maligns Biden, Claims He Is 'Behaving Like a Terrorist' with Debt Ceiling, Top Fox Hosts Are Telling Friends They Could Be the Next to Go, DeSantis Suggests He Personally Prayed a Hurricane Away From Florida, Minnesota Lawmaker Needs to Roll Smaller Joints, Roy Wood Jr. Thirteen U.S. service members were killed in the attack and 45 were wounded. She had called his unit because he had been drinking real bad and using steroids, and asked that he be moved back into the barracks, says Phillips. One day in late November, she says, she was working on a customers car when she turned around and there was Billy, wearing a black ski mask and carrying a crossbow. She met him in 2013, when she and her husband moved to North Carolina and answered a rental ad he had posted for a small brick house on Barrett Street, an uncurbed strip of asphalt just off the town square. jake robinson obituary, is milolii safe,

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