U.S. veteran extradited over drug smuggling

Kyodo

A former U.S. Navy sailor suspected of smuggling drugs into Japan through the military mail service in 2004 has been extradited from the United States, Japanese police said Wednesday.

Jonathan Octavio Nunez, 31, is the first suspect to be transferred to Japan under a bilateral extradition treaty that took effect in 1980, according to the police.

Nunez was handed over to Japanese custody aboard a plane at a Chicago airport earlier Wednesday and after arriving at Narita airport Wednesday afternoon, he is set to be transferred to Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, the police said.

The former sailor left Japan for the United States on Aug. 6, 2004, one day after police arrested two civilians who worked at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka on suspicion of being involved in drug-smuggling, the police said.

The three are suspected of shipping from Canada some 50,000 tablets of synthetic drugs, including ecstasy, to a post office box at the base using the military mail service in July 2004.

After he was located in the U.S. in 2009, authorities detained Nunez in November 2010, based on a request from Japan.