Support our mission

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Marine private first class was sentenced to 90 days in the brig, demotion to private and a bad conduct discharge Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to leaving the base without a liberty buddy last May and buying and distributing Bron, a Japanese codeine-based cough suppressant.

However, the judge in Pfc. Justin S. Woods’ court-martial here Tuesday recommended the discharge be suspended pending Woods’ good behavior after his release from jail.

Woods, 21, assigned to Headquarters and Service Battalion on Camp Foster, said he had no excuse for disobeying a Marine Corps Bases Japan order that all Marines and sailors in ranks E-1 to E-3 be accompanied when leaving bases in Japan.

According to evidence presented, Woods left the base alone on May 20 and went barhopping on Gate Two Street in Okinawa city.

Woods told the judge, Col. Bruce D. Landrum, that he bought a bottle of the over-the-counter cough syrup out of curiosity, knowing that the cough suppressant contained codeine, also known as dihydrocodeine, and is a Schedule II narcotic under the U.S. Controlled Substance Act.

It is illegal for people who are in Japan under the status of forces agreement to purchase, use or distribute Bron.

During the three-hour court-martial, Woods acknowledged he knew from newcomer and company briefings that buying Bron was illegal.

He was charged after a Marine private allegedly raped while under the influence of drugs early May 21 tested positive for having opiates in her system.

She told investigators that Woods had given her Bron mixed in a glass of Sprite.

Although Woods was not accused of being involved in the alleged rape, he was charged with buying, using and sharing the drug.

He said he felt no effects from drinking the cough syrup.

“I apologize to the Marine Corps,” Woods said before being sentenced.

He said graduating from boot camp was “the greatest day of my life” and he begged to remain in the service.

“I hope that I am not discharged, even though I know I don’t deserve a second chance,” he told the judge.

Under the terms of a pre-trial agreement, 30 days of the sentence was suspended.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up