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Two nuclear launch officers face charges for illegal drug use

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force is charging two nuclear missile launch officers with illegal drug use.

The cases at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana were linked to a separate Air Force investigation of exam cheating by Minuteman 3 nuclear missile officers.

The Air Force announced Friday that a week ago it charged 1st Lt. Michael Alonso and 1st Lt. Lantz Balthazar with a range of drug offenses. Each will be reviewed at what the military calls an Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant a court martial.

A spokesman at Malmstrom, Josh Aycock, said no hearing dates have been set.

Another Malmstrom missile officer, 2nd Lt. Nicole Dalmazzi, was court-martialed in January on drug charges.

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