U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been awaiting a military hearing on desertion charges, was present during a police raid on a marijuana-growing operation in Mendocino County, California, according to the details of the raid released by police officials Thursday. While Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban for five years, was not arrested in the raid that took place last weekend, officers at the scene were instructed by the Pentagon to deliver Bergdahl to Santa Rosa, California, where he was collected by Army escorts and taken back to his duty station in Washington State.
Bergdahl was on authorized leave at the time of the raid and had “no connection to the dope grow,” said a report from the Anderson Valley Advertiser, a weekly newspaper in Boonville, California. Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said Bergdahl “readily produced his military ID” and cooperated with law enforcement as several arrests were made.
— Oriana Pawlyk (@Oriana0214) July 24, 2015
The former POW was the focus of intense political scrutiny last year when it was discovered he was involved in a White House-negotiated prisoner swap with the Taliban in Afghanistan. After being held captive by the terror group for five years, Bergdahl was traded for five so-called senior Taliban commanders who had previously been held in the Guantanamo Bay prison. The White House came under intense criticism from the GOP that claimed the release of the Taliban prisoners could come back to hurt the U.S. in years to come.
However, shortly after Bergdahl’s release was made public, many involved in efforts to find him after he went missing in June 2009 claimed that he had left his army compound on purpose, costing the lives of six soldiers who were killed in battles to retrieve him.
The soldier from Sun Valley, Idaho, was later charged with one count of desertion and one count of misbehavior before the enemy. He was scheduled to face an Article 32 hearing in September that would determine if there was enough evidence for him to face a court martial.