Former U.S. sailor extradited to Japan on drug-smuggling charge


Former U.S. serviceman Jonathan Octavio Nunez, 31, has become the first American to be extradited from the U.S. to Japan based on the current treaty on the extradition of criminals between the two nations. Nunez is to stand trial for smuggling drugs into Japan.

Nunez, a former USS Vincennes sailor who was administratively separated from the Navy in 2003, is accused of smuggling 50,000 pills with a street value of over 200 million yen through the military postal system from Canada to Japan in July 2004, TBS reported Thursday.

Nunez's involvement in the crime was revealed in the testimonies of two civilian base workers at Yokosuka, who were arrested in connection with the drugs when authorities seized the packets at Narita airport. According to police, by the time the Japanese authorities had learned of his involvement, Nunez had fled to Minnesota and then Peru.

However, with the cooperation of Interpol, Nunez was taken into custody in the U.S. three years ago. He was handed over to Japanese police at Chicago O’Hare International Airport aboard a Japanese commercial flight on Wednesday morning, TBS said.

A Kanagawa prefectural police spokesman said that Nunez is to be tried under Japanese law for allegedly mailing more than 30,000 doses of MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy to the post boxes of two civilians at Yokosuka Naval Base. Also in the packets were 20,000 doses of narcotics containing a mixture of MDMA and methamphetamine, as well as 140 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

Upon his arrival, local news crews asked Nunez for his views on the extradition, to which he replied, "No comment."

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-8 ( +4 / -12 )

This treaty came into force back in 1980. I'm surprised it was never applied before.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That's going to be a long sentence. He'll be lucky if he sees his 50th birthday outside a prison. This being the first case where they have applied this ...I'm sure they'll make a international example of him.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japanese prison sentences are notoriously short. He'll probably do about 10 years at the most.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

What an idiot. Drugs are really no good.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

those would be proper hard years...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sentence might be short but they will actually punish him

2 ( +2 / -0 )

MDMA. Big deal. Pretty soon the Japanese will make smiling in public illegal as it upsets the "wa".

-18 ( +1 / -19 )

He was AdSepped in 2003, has been in custody in US since 2010. Was he convicted in US? Makes you wonder about the rest of the story.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A Nigerian received a sentence of 16 years in prison for Violation of the Stimulant Drugs Control Law . (Chiba District Court June 4, 2013)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wipeoutJul. 25, 2013 - 03:04PM JST When countries sign extradition treaties with the US, it's not generally about reciprocity. It's about the US being able to extract criminals - American and non-American alike - from other territories and bring them to the US for trial.

Sounds like all U.S. treaties, they're all one-sided where the U.S. gets what it wants, but drags its feet keeping up its end.

3 years to extradite one criminal? Are you joking U.S.A.?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

After the trial can he be sent back to America to serve his prison term? Waste our tax payers money.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Pretty long years to get him extradite to Japan

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Surprised the US did this for Japan,since they don't extradite their own.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He will likely cop a longer stretch inside for dealing pills than a Japanese parent would for killing their child. Will be interesting to see the sentence eventually.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My guess is that he'd much prefer to serve his sentence here rather than in the US. American prison are mostly notorious. The gangs, the rapes, the murders

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What I want to say is ....and do not get me wrong, I hate drugs and he deserves to be punished if he is guilty. But, Yokosuka sounds like its on the us military base, why are the Japanese police involved? Shouldnt it be the military police?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow lot's of bashing of the U.S. based on faulty assumptions. The U.S. approved Nunez's extradition at an extradition hearing on March 28, 2011. At that time, Nunez was remanded to U.S. Marshals for detention until Japan came to get him. He was arrested on November 15th 2010 and extradition approved on March 28th 2011. That's only 133 DAYS from arrest to approval so all you people accusing the U.S. of dragging their heels can just ZIP IT.

Want proof? Here's the court order remanding him for extradition:

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I hope after the Japanese Government sentences his, and he lives those out that the Military will try him under the UCMJ, if this was done while he was in the service of the Navy then they SHOULD pursue a conviction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

4,000Y for an E, damn that's expensive.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't think I've ever heard of the US giving up a citizen before.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A dishonor to All who serve & his nation , I hope he pulls a Long Stretch- I would charge him with treason on his discharge from prison -He betrayed his oath to serve & protect ,in my book!

0 ( +2 / -2 )


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bartholomew wrote:

A dishonor to All who serve & his nation , I hope he pulls a Long Stretch- I would charge him with treason on his discharge from prison -He betrayed his oath to serve & protect ,in my book!

Kinda harsh, aren't you? In the same spirit of charging folks with crimes they did not commit, I hope you won't mind being charged with vehicular homocide the next time you get a speeding ticket. After all, by speeding you will have betrayed your oath to drive lawfully.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A dishonor to All who serve & his nation , I hope he pulls a Long Stretch- I would charge him with treason on his discharge from prison -He betrayed his oath to serve & protect ,in my book!

The crimes occurred in 2004 but he was administratively discharged from the Navy in 2003. He was not in the military when he (allegedly) committed the crimes. Please explain how he could be charged with treason? I used to be in the navy as well and as far as I can recall, I swore to "defend the Constitution of the United States" and to carry out the orders of the Commander in Chief. I don't remember ANYTHING about giving an oath "to serve and protect". Isn't that the motto of the LAPD?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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