Ex-U.S. serviceman gets 10-yr prison term for drug smuggling

A former U.S. serviceman was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday for smuggling drugs into Japan through the military mail service in 2004.

Jonathan Octavio Nunez, 32, was extradited from the United States last year in the first such case since a bilateral extradition treaty took effect in 1980.

The Yokohama District Court also fined Nunez 5 million yen, as demanded by prosecutors, who were seeking a 13-year prison term.

Presiding Judge Hiroshi Narikawa said Nunez "carries a grave criminal responsibility for shipping" the drugs. He was also compensated twice the amount paid to his two accomplices, Narikawa said.

Nunez conspired with the two men to smuggle about 50,000 tablets of stimulant drugs such as ecstasy from Canada to the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, in 2004, according to the ruling.

The two accomplices -- civilians who worked at the Yokosuka base -- have already served sentences in Japan and returned to the United States.

According to U.S. documents, Nunez was dishonorably discharged for cocaine use in 2002.