Article 32 Hearing

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Eric Swartz is one of four cadets charged with illegal steroid use. A fifth remains under investigation.

Eight witnesses testified yesterday during a nine-hour Article 32 hearing, the equivalent of a civilian grand jury.

Academy graduate Lieutenant Justin Fitzpatrick testified under immunity that Swartz bought an inject-able steroid at a Mazatlan pharmacy during spring break 2003. Fitzpatrick said Swartz poured the liquid steroid into hotel shampoo bottles and disposed of the needles. The steroid is illegal in the United States. Swartz faces up to 65 years in prison if convicted.

The hearing officer is required to make a recommendation soon on whether Swartz should be court-martialed. Lawyers in the case then have five days to respond. The final decision will be made by academy commanders.