RPT: American Teacher Jailed in Japan for Adderall Prescription
An American teacher could face years in a Japan prison after her mother mailed her a bottle of Adderall for her ADD.
Carrie Russell, 26, was reportedly out to eat with friends in Tokyo when police stormed the restaurant and arrested her. She is reportedly accused of drug smuggling and is being held in solitary confinement.
Physician Jill Russell mailed the prescription to her daughter, who was in South Korea at the time. Russell was then offered a job teaching English in Japan, so she shipped her pills from South Korea to Japan.
Russell’s mother says she put the prescription in a Tylenol bottle as not to attract burglars and because of a stigma connected with mental disorders in Japan.
Japan has banned the import of Adderall and similar drugs. The nation has some of the toughest drug laws in the world.
Annemarie McAvoy, a former federal prosecutor, discussed the case today with Harris Faulkner. Watch more above.
Read more below from OregonLive.com:
Jill Russell said she originally sent the three-month supply of pills that way to her daughter for two reasons.
First, as a physician who often prescribes Adderall, she routinely advises patients to consider keeping pills in unmarked containers because prescription bottles attract burglars, due to the substance's high street value. She advises against carrying the medication in a car or purse, and to consider keeping it in a locked safe.
Second, knowing of the stigma in Japan concerning mental disorders, she didn't want Carrie Russell's reputation to suffer in case someone opening her household shipments noticed the medication.
"My repackaging was not an attempt to break or circumvent the law," Jill Russell wrote in a sworn affidavit sent Feb. 25 to Japanese police. "It was intended to preserve Carrie's privacy and dignity around a sensitive issue regarding medication to treat a disorder which falls under the area of mental health."
In a second affidavit sent Feb. 26, Jill Russell added: "At the time this medication was shipped, I did not know that later Carrie would be fortunate enough to be hired to teach in Japan, thus resulting in her move to Japan and the need to ship her belongings to Japan."
So far, the affidavits haven't swayed the police or prosecutor on the case. Neither have Jill Russell's answers to police officers during three phone calls from Japan, each lasting more than an hour. Officers also questioned Carrie's physician, Michelle Mears, by phone.
Officers said that under Japanese law, Carrie Russell can be jailed for as many as 23 days before being charged. If found guilty of smuggling amphetamines, she could be sentenced to years in prison.
Family members have worked on the case since Feb. 21, when Russell's father received word of Carrie's arrest from one of her friends. Russell's stepfather, Portland lawyer Loren Podwill, immediately contacted the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to find out where she was.
It took U.S. diplomats 24 hours to locate her. The National Police Agency hadn't notified the embassy of her arrest, a step normally taken when Japanese police apprehend an American.
Family members worry that Carrie Russell might buckle under the relentless interrogations - at which she has no lawyer present - and confess to a crime she didn't commit.