MCCS civilian sentence for selling pot
October 3, 2003
NAHA, Okinawa — A Marine Corps Community Services employee was given a suspended 18-month prison sentence and fined 200,000 yen, or about $1,800, in a Japanese court Wednesday for selling marijuana.
Robert Evans, 25, who worked for MCCS at Camp Kinser, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing for selling marijuana to Americans on Okinawa. Naha District Court Judge placed him on probation for three years.
Evans had admitted to selling marijuana grown in the closet of Matthew Chapple, 27, a former Air Force servicemember who taught part-time in a Japanese elementary school in Naha.
Chapple was sentenced on Sept. 24 to three years in prison, suspended for four years, and fined 500,000 yen, or about $4,500.
In July, Okinawa Narcotic Control officers confiscated 8.87 ounces of marijuana from Chapple’s home, including several plants being grown in a closet. The raid on his home concluded a case in which 11 Americans were identified as being involved in the distribution of marijuana.
Only Evans and Chapple were indicted on the felony charges — Chapple for growing and Evans for arranging distribution.
The ring was discovered after two 18-year-old dependent family members of active-duty servicemembers were stopped at Camp Foster gate on June 20 and military police discovered a bag of marijuana in their car.
“Together with his accomplice, Evans sold a large amount of marijuana for profit,” Judge Kurihara said, describing it as a “serious felony.”
“However, the defendant has no previous conviction and he is deeply remorseful,” he said, explaining why he decided to suspend the prison sentence.
“Also, he promised that he would never again put his hand to any illegal substances,” he said.
“Keep your word,” he cautioned Evans, who stood silently before him. “This is a chance for you to once again become a law-abiding, good citizen.”
Evans bowed deeply as he was released from the courtroom.