Airman receives bad conduct discharge, jail for drug offenses

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- A general court-martial was held August 31, 2017, and September 14-15, 2017, at Peterson Air Force Base in the case of United States v. Staff Sgt. Maverick R. Marchesani, formerly of the 21st Security Forces Squadron.

During the court-martial, Marchesani was held accountable for his actions that violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He faced three charges of wrongful use of controlled substances, including oxycodone, heroin, and morphine, in violation of Article 112a. The 26-year old Non-Commissioned Officer ultimately pled guilty to all charges, providing the military judge with detailed facts concerning each offense.

The court-martial, composed of officer panel members, received testimony from four live witnesses during the sentencing phase of the court-martial. During that time, all in the courtroom heard details of Marchesani’s drug abuse, his progression from the use of prescription medication to illicit street drugs, and his unit’s offers to provide assistance to help him with his drug abuse issues.

In the sentencing arguments, the prosecution recommended a sentence of 10-12 months of confinement and a bad conduct discharge, while the defense requested a sentence of 30 days confinement. In the end, the officer members sentenced Marchesani to a bad conduct discharge, 30 days of confinement, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a reduction to the grade of E-1. In conjunction with the court-martial’s sentence, Marchesani will lose Department of Veterans Affairs benefits.

“Airmen must know that illegal drug use is not taken lightly and will be processed through the military justice system accordingly,” said Captain Chelsea Beshore, staff judge advocate who prosecuted the case. “There are numerous choices an individual can make in a situation such as Staff Sgt. Marchesani’s. We hope this sentence propels other Airmen to make better choices in seeking help from agencies like Mental Health and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program if needed.”