Home / National News / Three Afghan Soldiers Stopped by Strip Club Before Seeking Asylum: Police


(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — Prior to their encounter with Canadian and American border agents near Buffalo, New York, the three Afghan soldiers who went missing from Joint Base Cape Cod over the weekend stopped at a strip club, a local police chief confirmed to ABC News Tuesday.

“They were in Mashpee, Massachusetts, at Zachary’s Friday evening,” said Mashpee Police Chief Rodney Collins.

By Saturday they were at Cape Cod Mall, where law enforcement sources said they wanted to buy civilian clothing.

Zachary’s Pub touts itself as “Cape Cod’s only Gentleman’s Club.” The website says “We feature all-nude exotic entertainment, pool tables, Keno, full menu and $4 draft beer. We are open every day, with continuous entertainment from noon – 1 a.m. Couples are welcome!”

“Having military people in here is pretty standard and having people using passports is pretty standard,” said club owner Richard Halpern.

Halpern told ABC News his employees notified him after the story of the soldiers’ disappearance hit the local news.

“Cashiers, dancers and disc jockeys all called to tell me they were in here,” he said.

Halpern said the three Afghan soldiers were part of a larger group of seven or eight that included a translator who told the hostess to notify him if there were any problems. There were no problems and the group left later that night without incident.

The officers were part of a 14-officer contingent from Afghanistan, officials said.

The three Afghan soldiers were found Monday near the U.S.-Canada border, a U.S. Defense Department official told ABC News. Law enforcement officials said the men did not try to hide, but instead walked up to border patrol agents and presented themselves for asylum.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday that the three Afghan men are now in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Batavia, New York.

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