Soldier who sent drugs to Okinawa base will not serve a real prison sentence
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – An Okinawa-based soldier convicted of attempting to smuggle drugs into Japan by mail was given a three-year suspended prison sentence on Monday by a Japanese court.
CPS. Kenyatta Lane, 22, pleaded guilty to violating the country’s Narcotics and Psychotropic Drugs Control and Customs Law during his first appearance in Naha District Court, a spokeswoman for the Naha District Court said on Tuesday. Naha District Attorney’s Office in Stars and Stripes. The soldier works at a communications facility at Torii Station military base in Yomitan, she said.
Lane was charged with sending 0.92 grams of powder containing MDMA, an ingredient in the drug ecstasy, by US mail to Marine Corps Camp Kinser, the spokeswoman said.
With the help of “unidentified individuals,” Lane mailed the powder on March 29, the spokesperson said. The package arrived at Narita International Airport on April 5, then at Kinser Post Office, where it was detected by a customs officer four days later.
It is not known who sent the drugs, the spokesperson said, but Lane was the intended recipient.
An army spokeswoman at Torii Station said on Tuesday she was working to get information on Lane’s case but did not answer questions on Wednesday afternoon.
The soldier was under house arrest on the base until he was charged on August 12, the prosecutors spokeswoman said. He has never been arrested by Japanese police.
Lane pleaded guilty on Monday and was sentenced by Judge Koji Oohashi to one year and six months in prison and then three years suspended, the spokeswoman said. He probably won’t serve a prison sentence unless he commits another crime in Japan.
It is not clear whether Lane will appeal the judge’s decision, the spokeswoman said. He had 14 days from Monday to do so.
It is customary in Japan for some government officials to speak to the media on condition of anonymity.
MDMA, or 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, is a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception and is chemically similar to stimulants and hallucinogens, according to a fact sheet from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Often referred to as molly, the drug is known to produce sensations of “increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and temporal perception.”
MDMA consumption can lead to a host of health problems ranging from depression and anxiety to liver, kidney or heart failure and sometimes even death, according to the fact sheet.