Two Marines get 20-month sentences for counterfeiting Japanese currency
NAHA, Okinawa — Two Marines were sentenced Wednesday to 20 months in prison for counterfeiting Japanese currency worth about $132.70.
Lance Cpl. Chad J. Adkins, 22, and Lance Cpl. Jesse A. Trammel, 24, both assigned to the 3rd Force Service Support Group’s motor support section on Camp Foster, pleaded guilty to the charges. They admitted to copying three 5,000-yen notes on a color copier in a barracks room and passing them off at a Chatan bar.
They paid two visits to the Crazy Horse Bar, according to evidence presented by the prosecution. On March 4 they paid for 1,700 yen (about $15) in drinks with two fake 5,000-yen bills (about $88).
The bar owner was made aware of the fake bills when she attempted to use them at a local convenience store. She told her employees to watch for more bogus bills.
On March 8, Adkins and Trammel returned to the bar and used another phony 5,000-yen bill to pay for drinks. Japanese police were notified and the pair was apprehended while they still were drinking.
At first they claimed they got the bad bills from an automated teller machine on Camp Foster. They confessed after an investigation by military and Okinawa prefectural police turned up a computer scanner and printer in Adkins’ room.
The two Marines have been in Japanese custody at the Naha Detention Center since May 31.
At a hearing Sept. 29, both Marines apologized for their actions but Trammel said he objected to prosecutor Masahisa Yokota’s contention that the crime was “vicious.”
Yokota had argued for a sentence of 3½ years in prison at hard labor for both defendants, claiming counterfeiting Japanese money “endangered the stable circulation of Japanese currency.”
“I’m not a vicious criminal,” Trammell told the court. “This was not a murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault.”
Lawyers for the pair argued for leniency, pointing out that neither Marine had a prior criminal record and that they made compensation to the bar owner and could face discharge from the Marine Corps.
Chief judge Nobuyuki Yokota said that the motive of the crime was pure greed.
“The nature of the crime is cunning and malicious,” he said.
Both Adkins and Trammel stood with their hands folded in front of them as they impassively listened to the verdict.
Yokota said that the court gave consideration to the facts that the defendants apologized, made restitution and pleaded guilty, avoiding a costly, lengthy trial.
“Yet their criminal responsibilities are grave,” he said. “This court, therefore, concluded that the defendants merit a prison sentence without parole.”