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Former U.S. serviceman to be extradited to Japan over drug smuggling

Kyodo

A 31-year-old former U.S. sailor suspected of leading a group that smuggled drugs into Japan in 2004 through the military mail service will soon be extradited from the United States, police said Tuesday.

The former sailor, whose name was not released, will be the first suspect transferred to Japan from the United States based on a bilateral criminal extradition treaty that took effect in 1980.

The man left Japan for the United States on Aug. 6, 2004, the day after police arrested two civilians who worked at the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, on suspicion of drug smuggling, according to the police.

The three are suspected of shipping from Canada some 50,000 tablets of synthetic drugs, including Ecstasy, with a street value of about ¥200 million, to a post office box at the base using the military mail service in July 2004.

His whereabouts was confirmed in 2009 and he has since been detained in the United States. Japanese police had issued an arrest warrant for him.