Navy commander left the Navy to become a heavily armed meth dealer

Former Navy commander and minesweeper CO Lance Esswein was sentenced to 19 years in prison Thursday for meth and firearms offenses. (Facebook)

A former US Navy minesweeper skipper has been sentenced to nearly two decades in prison for selling meth and firearms.

Lance Esswein, former commander of the USS Ardent and USS Pioneer, created a criminal enterprise after leaving the Navy in 2006.

While Esswein received a less-than-honorable discharge from the Navy following 16 years, the Navy has not disclosed why he was kicked from the service.

According to the Navy Times, Judge Janis Graham Jack determined Esswein’s sentence of nineteen years after learning he sold ten pounds of methamphetamine.

“The court also heard Esswein had offered to arrange the murder of two local police officers to prevent their testimony in an unrelated drug case,” a US Justice Department release read.

Esswein pleaded guilty in 2020.

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