OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A Bay Area Coast Guard commander has been arrested for illegally importing the narcotic-like pain reliever Tramadol from Singapore and Germany through the mail, federal prosecutors announced late Wednesday.

United States Attorney David L. Anderson said James Heyward Silcox III was arrested on Alameda’s Coast Guard island base on Tuesday and faces federal drug charges.

According to the complaint, 41-year-old Silcox alleged to have illegally imported Tramadol — a controlled substance — in at least three shipments.

In July, Customs and Border Protection officers at the JFK International Air Mail Facility inspected a package from Singapore that contained approximately 865 grams of Tramadol.

In August, CBP officers at the San Francisco Air Mail Facility intercepted a package from Germany that contained 650 tablets containing Tramadol.

And on September 13, CBP officers in the San Francisco Air Mail Facility intercepted a package from Singapore that contained 458 grams of Tramadol.

All three packages were addressed to post office boxes held by Silcox.

The complaint alleges that law enforcement officers removed the Tramadol from the August package and delivered it with substitute material to Silcox’s post office box on September 16. The same day, Silcox picked up the package.

He made his initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday and was released on a personal recognizance bond. His next scheduled appearance is at 10:30 a.m. on September 26,.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000, for each violation.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Homeland Security Investigations; the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area-Transnational Narcotics Team (HIDTA-TNT); the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General; and the Coast Guard Investigation Service.

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