Wives of two soldiers deny smuggling meth
Stars and Stripes June 10, 2007
SEOUL — The wives of two U.S. soldiers told a panel of South Korean judges on Friday that they didn’t try to smuggle methamphetamine into the country by mail, though one of the women admitted to using the drug in South Korea.
According to court documents, Irine Melendy signed for a package that arrived from the Philippines at a friend’s house in Uijeongbu in March.
The court documents said the package contained fish, clothes and 15.1 grams of methamphetamine hidden in the bottom of some slippers.
Melendy, a 25-year-old who has been married to a U.S. soldier for nearly six years, said she didn’t know what was in the package and signed for it at a friend’s request.
“It was a big mistake,” she told Stars and Stripes.
That friend, Warren Alega, is in jail and on trial for drug smuggling charges along with Castro Aldwin, both of whom will testify when the women’s case reconvenes next week. The men live and work in South Korea and have no apparent connection to the U.S. military.
The second woman being tried Friday, Rosalie Geiselman, also said she didn’t know the package, which was sent to her house, contained methamphetamine.
“They used my place to send the package to, that’s it,” Geiselman told Stripes. She is 36 years old and eight months pregnant.
Both women admitted in court to using drugs in the past but said they didn’t use the methamphetamine that arrived in the package. They were provided English-language court translators.
The prosecutor said Friday that hair samples from the women indicated they might have taken drugs in March, when the package arrived.
Melendy’s hair will be tested again using a different method that can determine more precisely when she used drugs, according to officials.
Both women’s husbands were in court in civilian clothing.
“All I can do is hope for the best,” Staff Sgt. Donald Melendy said after the case.
Geiselman’s husband declined to talk to Stars and Stripes.
The case will continue June 18.