Two soldiers stationed at an Army base outside Barstow have been arrested for "improperly handling" secret defense papers in a bizarre national security case involving a tip to a television station and tales of a military LSD ring, federal officials disclosed Thursday.
Army Staff Sgt. Edmund Washington Tuck, 24, and Specialist 4th Class Kelly Joe Schmidt, 23, were arrested by agents of the FBI and the Army's intelligence organization at Tuck's Barstow condominium Wednesday after a tip to a Las Vegas television station that they were dealing in drugs and also were in possession of classified defense papers.
Steve Minium, news director for KTNV-TV in Las Vegas, said the case began Monday when a 19-year-old who described himself as a former mental patient arrived at the station with about a dozen secret documents and said he had obtained them from Tuck.
According to Minium, the informant said he had met Tuck in the mental ward of a Victorville hospital and later moved into Tuck's Barstow condo, where "his job was to run drugs," including LSD and methamphetamine. After a week at the condo, Minium said, the 19-year-old saw a briefcase with some documents and "flipped out" after deciding they were Army secrets.