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SEOUL — The Filipina wives of two American soldiers were sentenced to 2½ years in a South Korean prison for smuggling methamphetamine into the country in March and then using it.

Both women, Irine Melendy, 25, and Rosalie Gieselman, 36, plan to appeal the verdict and have not gone to jail.

Gieselman’s husband, David, said the sentence is harsh, especially because his wife is eight months pregnant. “She’s going to have a baby in jail?” he said. “They don’t realize we’re going to have three kids together. What am I going to do? That doesn’t ruin just one life. It ruins seven lives.”

The couple has two other children together, ages 4 and 5. Rosalie has two more in the Philippines, and her husband has one more in the United States.

Melendy and Gieselman have denied arranging to receive a package from the Philippines that contained fish, clothes, and 15.1 grams of methamphetamine hidden in the bottom of some slippers. They testified they didn’t know the package contained meth, and two Filipino men — Alega Warren and Aldwin Castro — used them to have it delivered to South Korea.

Melendy signed for the package, and it was delivered to Gieselman’s Uijeongbu home. The men testified earlier this month that both women knew the package contained meth.

“They both lied,” Rosalie Gieselman said after the sentencing on Friday.

Warren was sentenced Friday to five years in prison on smuggling and drug use charges. Castro was convicted only on the drug use charge and was given a two-year suspended sentence.

Judge Lee Han-ju said during sentencing that drug use and drug smuggling are considered very serious felonies in South Korea, and he could have sentenced the defendants to five years in prison.

Melendy and Gieselman were each fined 100,000 won, roughly $110, and Warren was fined 300,000 won, or about $330.

Melendy and her husband declined to comment after the verdict was announced, but her attorney, Jin Hyo-geun, said the sentence was normal for the charges.

Tests on the women’s hair showed they used drugs in recent months. Gieselman admitted to using drugs while in South Korea, but Melendy said she used drugs only in the Phillipines.


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