Okinawa Regional Customs and the Organized Crime Control Division of the Okinawa Prefectural Police are investigating several U.S. military members, including two servicemembers affiliated with the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa, on suspicion of violating the Cannabis Control Act by smuggling cannabis and other illegal drugs from the U.S. for commercial purposes, sources close to the investigation said on Dec. 21. The prefectural police are investigating the case, including how the drugs came into their possession, with a view that an overseas smuggling ring may have been behind the crime.
Those investigated include a 26-year-old corporal and a 25-year-old lance corporal affiliated with the U.S. Marine Corps stationed in Okinawa. According to the indictment, the two defendants sent about 155 grams of cannabis and 4.47 grams of liquid cannabis from a California post office to Japan in April this year in collusion with an unidentified person, with the intent of bringing the drugs into Japan. The cannabis was then sent from Haneda Airport to the U.S. Marine Corps post office at the Camp Kinser in Urasoe City but was found during a customs inspection. Sources close to the investigation said there have been many cases of illegal drugs being smuggled from the U.S. by postal mail since the beginning of this year.
The prefectural police and regional customs office are investigating the case and looking into whether behind the case is a smuggling ring which used U.S. Marines to transfer the drugs.