Each year, the 9/11 anniversary is a somber and revered day in our Nation’s history, but a North Carolina District Attorney (DA), Ernie Lee, has picked that as the trial date for one retired Marine Raider, Michael Bloch. This is in spite of the fact that a trial should never have been an option.
Ernie Lee has allegedly abdicated his responsibilites and reportedly deferred them to attorney Michelle Morton, who intends to prosecute Bloch in a criminal proceeding as opposed to allowing him access to the state’s Veterans Treatment Court, which has stated its readiness and willingness to provide Bloch with their full cadre of services.
Veterans Treatment Courts effectively support state efforts to integrate evidence-based substance use disorder treatment, mandatory drug testing, incentives, sanctions, and recovery support services in judicially supervised court settings which have jurisdiction over veterans involved in the justice system who have substance use disorders, including a history of violence and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their military service.
Of note, during the incident Bloch did not injure anyone, and those whose property was damaged and who the prosecutor has identified as “victims,” have submitted written statements specifically requesting Bloch NOT to be prosecuted.
Thanks to concerned and patriotic supporters, the DA’s office has been flooded with calls demanding for Bloch’s case to be handed over to the Veterans Treatment Court.
The DA’s response? They are telling callers to contact Bloch’s attorney before hanging up on them!
Concerned supporters asked the DA’s office, “If Bloch’s attorney had the power to transfer it to the Veterans Treatment Court, wouldn’t he have already done that?”
According to one report about his campaign, Ernie Lee previously stated, “My campaign was based upon my integrity, my experience, my work ethic, my record, and a positive message.”
But that doesn’t match up with his actions now.
You can make an impact by contacting your state’s elected representatives, along with contacting North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, to request that they use their powers to help the transfer of Staff Sergeant Bloch’s case to the Veterans Court.
You can also read Michael Bloch’s own letter to Governor Cooper here to aid with your effort to support.
Details for the Michael Bloch case
In 2014, after 12 years of exemplary service to our country as a U.S. Marine Corps Raider, Staff Sergeant Michael Bloch, a highly decorated combat veteran, left active duty with an Honorable Discharge. Even after leaving active duty, Bloch continued service as an Intelligence Contractor with the elite Joint Special Operations Command for seven years before starting EBS, a Defense Contracting Company.
A year after his separation, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determined that Bloch was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as a result of trauma he experienced during his multiple combat tours.
To help address his challenges related to these issues, Bloch was prescribed a medication called ‘Nuvigil.’
Medical examiners have identified severe negative side-effects related to taking this drug which can contribute to adverse mental health effects including hallucinations and psychotic episodes.
Additionally, Nuvigil is not meant to be prescribed for more than one year.
Unfortunately, the VA had been prescribing Nuvigil to Bloch for more than four and a half (4.5) years, and not surprisingly, as a result, Bloch had a psychotic episode.
On February 15, 2022, Bloch was on his way to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for a business meeting on behalf of a company he founded when he suffered a mental breakdown.
It was brought on by a combination of high-stress, lack of sleep, and Nuvigil.
Mentally and physically, his actions were inconsistent with the countless hours of muscle-memory training and real-world weapons experience he had as a Marine Corps Raider/Critical Skills Operator (CSO).
Bloch was arrested and spent several weeks in a Virginia jail before he was extradited to North Carolina where his family was able to raise enough money to post his $15,000 bail.
Of note, during Bloch’s shooting incident, he did not injure anyone, and those whose property was damaged and who the prosecutor has identified as “victims,” have submitted written statements specifically requesting Bloch NOT to be prosecuted.
Despite all that, Bloch has been charged with two felonies for discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, a misdemeanor for discharging a firearm in proximity to a structure in city limits, and a misdemeanor for property damage in excess of $200.
To date, Bloch’s family has paid thousands of dollars out of their own pockets for bail and legal defense, which will elevate into tens of thousands if not more should Bloch’s case go to trial.
Due to the fact that Bloch self-reported this incident to the Department of Defense, his security clearance has been revoked pending adjudication of his case. As such, Bloch is presently unemployed and is unable to find meaningful work commensurate with his training, education, and experience.
On May 11, 2023, UAP’s Board of Directors accepted Bloch’s request for support with the intent to ensure Bloch gains access to the Veterans Treatment Court and that he has the ability to fund his legal defense in a criminal court.
Your financial support is critical to our success, and most importantly, the success of our Warriors like Michael Bloch!