U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Idaho native facing desertion charges for leaving his post in Afghanistan in 2009, is making headlines this week for reasons unrelated to his possible military court-martial.
Bergdahl, 29, was at an illegal California marijuana farm Tuesday when it was raided by Mendocino County sheriff’s investigators, according to the Anderson Valley Advertiser.
Bergdahl was visiting friends and had no connection to the operation, the Advertiser reported. Military authorities were notified, and an Army official came to transport Bergdahl to his duty station.
The Hailey native left his post in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban-alligned Haqqani network in June 2009. He was released in May 2014 in a prisoner exchange for five Taliban commanders.
He is awaiting a preliminary hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury. From there, it could be referred to a court-martial for trial. If convicted, he could face a sentence of up to life in prison.
The preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 17 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas.
In June, Bergdahl asked a military appeals court to disqualify the Army general overseeing the case against him.
The request said Army Gen. Mark Milley should be replaced because of his pending nomination to become Army chief of staff.