Sailor on Okinawa charged with smuggling 'magic mushrooms'
NAHA, Okinawa — A 20-year-old sailor assigned to Camp Hansen was charged Wednesday with smuggling hallucinatory “magic mushrooms,” an Okinawa Customs Office spokesman said.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Trent Matthew James Riley is accused of mail-ordering via the Internet the illegal substance, which was sent through Japanese postal services to his off-base home in Okinawa city’s Murokawa district, according to an Okinawa Prefectural Police report.
On Jan. 10, a parcel containing the illegal substance and addressed to Riley arrived at Naha Central Post Office from the Netherlands, said Kiyotaka Kubashima, a customs office spokesman. Five days later, under supervision of police and customs offices, the package was delivered to Riley’s off-base home, Kubashima said.
Riley was arrested the moment he received the package, which contained 51 grams of mushrooms, Kubashima said.
The Okinawa District Public Prosecutor’s Office charged Riley with violating Japan’s Narcotic and Psychotropic Drug Control Law, Kubashima said.
In June 2002, Japan listed hallucinogenic mushrooms as a controlled substance. Using, possessing, growing, transferring or advertising them is strictly banned.
If convicted, Riley, who remains under Okinawa police custody, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of 30 million yen (about $250,000), according to a joint statement released by the Okinawa District Customs Office and Okinawa Prefectural Police.
A Marine Corps Base Camp Butler spokesman said discussing “details of an ongoing investigation” would be inappropriate but added: “The Marine Corps takes this incident very seriously and is working in close cooperation with local authorities in the investigation.”
Stars and Stripes reporter Cindy Fisher contributed to this report.