Yokosuka civilian employees sentenced to seven years for smuggling drugs
November 26, 2004
YOKOHAMA DISTRICT COURT, Japan — Two U.S. civilian employees from Yokosuka Naval Base were sentenced to seven years in Japanese prison Wednesday for their role in smuggling almost $2 million in drugs into the country.
William Jenkins, 28, and Babe Cole, 25, Yokosuka Morale, Welfare and Recreation employees, also were ordered to each pay about $30,000 in fines.
They were arrested in August after a Narita Airport customs inspector found some 50,000 doses of MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, and other illegal stimulants. The drugs were en route from Vancouver, Canada, to base post office boxes belonging Jenkins and Cole.
A three-judge panel took less than five minutes to reach a verdict Wednesday after Cole and Jenkins pleaded for leniency.
The court cited the quantity of drugs and the financial motivation for the length of the sentence.
Japanese authorities have said they want to extradite a third man, Jonathan Nunez, who flew out of Japan the day after Jenkins and Cole were arrested. Nunez, a former USS Vincennes sailor, was administratively separated from the Navy in 2003. During earlier portions of the trial, attorneys for Cole and Jenkins argued that Nunez was the most responsible.
Cole and Jenkins have until Dec. 8 to appeal their sentences to the Tokyo high court.