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Camp Pendleton

March 15, 1986

A Marine who became ill after drinking a can of Coca-Cola admitted Friday that he drank penetrating oil before the soft drink to avoid taking a spelling test, military officials said Friday.

Lance Cpl. Jose Acosta, 24, told investigators he drank some WD-40 lubricant, then sprayed some into the soft drink can, Marine spokesman Sgt. Art Alejandre said.

Acosta drank the penetrating oil to become ill, thereby avoiding a spelling test, Alejandre said.

Before the admission, authorities had tested the contents of Acosta's can of Coca-Cola Classic and found that it contained the lubricant, which is often used on the base to clean guns, officials said.

Tests also were conducted on other cans of Coca-Cola in the base vending machine where Acosta had bought the soft drink. No contaminants were found in the other cans.

Acosta had been admitted to a base hospital for treatment of nausea and dizziness and was released several hours later, officials said Wednesday.

Cans of Coca-Cola Classic were removed from vending machines, commissaries and exchange stores at the base. They were returned Friday to all points of sale, Cpl. Mark Polifka said.

Any disciplinary action against Acosta would be up to his commanding officer, Alejandre said.

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