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thedrifter
09-12-03, 05:58 AM
Okinawa police bust drug ring involving Americans


By Chiyomi Sumida, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Friday, September 12, 2003



NAHA, Okinawa — Eleven Americans on Okinawa, including employees of the Marine Corps Community Services and dependent sons of servicemembers, have been identified as being involved in a plot to sell marijuana grown by a teacher in a closet in his Ginowan home.

The Okinawa Narcotics Control Office announced the breakup of the ring Wednesday.

The investigation resulted in the indictment of two Americans on felony charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell, according to spokesman Akihito Asato.

The two were identified as Matthew Chapple, 27, a former Air Force servicemember who teachers at an elementary school in Naha, and Robert Evans, 25, a Marine Corps Community Services employee at Camp Kinser.

Asato said 8.87 ounces of marijuana were confiscated from Chapple’s apartment, including several plants that were being grown in a closet converted into a nursery.

Chapple told police he originally grew marijuana for his own use, but he was persuaded by Evans to profit from his crop, Asato said.

The pair earned about $8,200 before they were arrested in July, Asato said.

The operation first came to light when two 18-year-old dependent family members of active-duty servicemen were stopped at Camp Foster and military police discovered a bag of marijuana in their car.

The teenagers led police to another community services employee who told them he bought the marijuana from Evans and resold it, Asato said. Eventually, the investigation led to three other employees, the wife of a Marine, the 22-year-old son of another Marine and an unemployed American living in Kitanakagusuku.

However, only Chapple and Evans have been charged with felony counts of distribution, Asato said.

Trial dates in Naha District Court are pending.

http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=17477


Sempers,

Roger
:marine: