Two Iwakuni servicemembers sentenced for auto-parts thefts
Two servicemembers stationed at Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station received suspended two-year prison sentences Tuesday in Yamaguchi District Court.
Cpl. Todd M. Heaney, 25, of Marine Aircraft Logistics Squadron 12, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Ian Bucton, attached to Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, were tried for theft charges after stealing car parts from Iwakuni city automobile repair shops and dealers last year.
Their two-year prison sentences were suspended for three years. The prosecutors asked for two-year prison sentences for both in the last trial.
The two faced five counts of theft charges after allegedly walking away with $10,038 in auto parts from Iwakuni City auto repair shops and dealers in July and September. Bucton also faced a theft charge after stealing a car bumper worth $53 sometime in September, according to an indictment. Some of the auto parts were sold on the Internet.
Heaney, arrested Jan. 11 on suspicion of stealing about $4,700 in auto parts from an auto dealer in September, has been in Japanese custody since then. The investigation led to Bucton, who was taken into Japanese custody after the Jan. 30 indictment. Since then, additional charges have been filed against both. Both pleaded guilty during their first trial in March.
During the following trials, their attorneys said, they informed the court their clients either returned the parts or compensated for the loss.
Heaney and Bucton still could face punishment from the military. “Their respective commands will consider their full range of options,” said Lt. Col. Charlie Stubbs, staff judge advocate for Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station.