Okinawa Marine discharged for buying, distributing Percocet
June 30, 2006
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A 21-year-old Marine was sentenced to 360 days in the brig and handed a bad-conduct discharge Thursday after pleading guilty to hosting what amounted to a Percocet party in his Camp Kinser barracks room in March.
Under terms of a plea agreement, brig time of more than 300 days for Cpl. Damon Jordan was suspended.
During his court-martial, Jordan, of Vancouver, Wash., pleaded guilty to conspiring to buy, possess, distribute and use the prescription painkiller on March 10. He admitted to giving the drug to a small group of junior Marines who were drinking and playing video games in his room.
He also pleaded guilty to illegally entering an unoccupied barracks room to snort ground-up Percocet powder through a rolled-up $10 bill with another junior Marine.
Under questioning by Maj. Charles Hale, the military judge, Jordan said he bought 10 of the pills for $6 each from a private first class. Percocet is the brand name for a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone and is normally prescribed for moderate to moderately severe pain.
The source of the pills the private provided was not discussed during the hearing.
“I’m not only sorry for what I’ve done, I’m disappointed in myself,” Jordan said in a statement marked by tearful silences as he fought to compose himself.
“Being in the brig for the past 65 days has actually been good for me because for the first time that I remember I’ve been able to think about the way I’ve been living my life and the way that I want to live my life,” he said.
Jordan said he inhaled about four pills that had been ground into a powder and took a fifth pill orally. The other pills were consumed by his friends, he said.
Marine Capt. J.A. Madia, the prosecutor, asked for a lengthy jail sentence and discharge, arguing that it had been Jordan’s duty as the senior Marine present “to stop this kind of conduct instead of promoting it.”
Instead, “he provided his barracks room for this behavior," Madia said. “He gave them logistical support and solicited other Marines to participate.”
Capt. Josh Rosen, Jordan’s defense attorney, argued for a sentence of no more than six months in the brig and asked that Jordan not be kicked out of the service.
“This is about a young Marine who made a mistake and he’s come forward and accepted responsibility,” Rosen said. “He gets it. He understands what he’s done.”