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4 Americans, 3 Nigerians Arrested In Drug Smuggling Attempt

September 5, 1988

TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese police said on Monday they have arrested four Americans and three Nigerians for attempting to smuggle 16 pounds of heroin from Thailand to the United States via Japan.

A police official said the heroin had a street value in Japan of 19.8 billion yen ($146.7 million).

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Japanese police arrested a Nigerian woman Aug. 24 at Tokyo’s Narita airport for smuggling nearly 10 pounds of heroin into Japan. The next day, police arrested two other Nigerians at a Tokyo hotel, the official said.

The two arrested at the hotel told investigators they were to deliver the heroin to two American women identified as Joyce Almarion Crawford, 32, of Georgia and Yanina Florencia Walker, 36, of Columbus, Ohio.

After they were arrested, Ms. Crawford told investigators she planned to receive the heroin and return to the United States with friends who were to arrive in Tokyo from Bangkok on Friday, the official said.

The friends, Brenda Jean Givens, 38, and Ezell Johnson, 35, also from Columbus, were arrested after they arrived in Japan and investigators found six pounds of heroin in their bags, the official said.

The maximum penalty in Japan for heroin trafficking is 10 years in prison.