Japanese police in Yokohama revealed this week that a former United States sailor was to be extradited to Japan on charges that he led a drug smuggling group in 2004. The unnamed, 31 year old man is believed to have worked with several other people in shipping 200 million yen (approx. $2 million) worth of illegal substances to Japan through the U.S. military’s own postal system.
On August 5th, 2004, two civilians who worked on the Yokosuka U.S. Naval base in Kanagawa Prefecture were arrested on suspicion of participating in the drug operation. The next day, the former sailor fled Japan and returned to the United States. He remained on the run until 2009, when he was detained by U.S. authorities after the Japanese police issued an arrest warrant. His extradition will be the first to take place under the U.S. & Japan’s bilateral criminal treaty that went into effect in 1980.
The three individuals are believed to have shipped roughly 50,000 tablets of synthetic drugs, including ecstasy, in July of 2004. The package was shipped from somewhere in Canada using the military mail service, and delivered to a post office box located on the Yokosuka base. No word was given on whether the U.S. military will be charging the man with any crimes.
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