Former MCCS worker sentenced in drug case
August 23, 2003
NAHA, Okinawa — A former Marine Corps Community Services employee received a suspended prison sentence Thursday in Okinawa’s Naha District Court for smuggling marijuana.
Rick Ragsdale, 21, was handed a two-year prison sentence, suspended for three years, for letting another former MCCS employee use his Japanese postal box to receive 3.37 pounds of marijuana mailed from the United States inside a teddy bear.
Japanese Customs officials intercepted the package April 25 in Yokohama.
The other American involved in the case, Tommy Gaskin Jr., 24, was handed a 30-month suspended sentence Aug. 6. Both men were held at Naha Detention Center before sentencing.
It was unclear Thursday whether U.S. military officials would take disciplinary action against them. Such punishment could range from house restriction to being barred from the bases and losing residency status under the U.S.-Japan status of forces agreement.
At an earlier hearing, Ragsdale, who had pleaded guilty, said he let Gaskin use his postal box but did not know it would be used to receive marijuana mailed from Florida.
He said Gaskin had told him he wanted to have something mailed to him without his wife knowing.
At that hearing, Ragsdale said he suspected something was “not right” but was badgered by Gaskin, who assured Ragsdale he would take responsibility for any problems.