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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Camp Lester corpsman was sentenced to almost two years’ confinement Monday for taking part in a pharmaceutical drug conspiracy involving 11 other hospital corpsmen.

U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa Seaman James P. Novack, who pleaded guilty Dec. 20 at a general court-martial to recruiting another to participate in the conspiracy, wrongfully using the prescription drugs and related charges, also was reduced to E-1 and given a bad conduct discharge.

He was one of several corpsmen recruited by Seaman William A. Blado, also assigned to the hospital, to pick up prescriptions for Percocet that Blado fraudulently entered into the hospital pharmacy database, according to Novack’s testimony in December.

Novack would go to the pharmacy to get the prescription and later in the day split the pills with Blado, he said. Novack also recruited another corpsman, Seaman Stephen Froelich, he testified.

“I know what I did was wrong,” Novack said in an unsworn statement Monday. “I have to man-up and face everything.”

Prosecutor Maj. Robert Palmer described how Novack admitted to taking more than 270 Percocet pills over the six weeks and asked for 42 months’ confinement and a dishonorable discharge.

Defense counsel Capt. Clinton Crosser said this was excessive, that six months’ confinement would be more appropriate.

“He’s not a drug dealer. Not in the barracks or anywhere else,” Crosser said. “He didn’t sell a pill so he shouldn’t be treated like a drug dealer.”

Novack could have received a maximum sentence of 31 years in confinement.

In a Dec. 20 general court-martial, Blado was sentenced to 3½ years’ confinement, reduced to E-1 and given a dishonorable discharge.

At various summary courts-martial, five others involved in the conspiracy, including Froelich, were reduced to E-1 and given other-than-honorable discharges.

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