The jury trial of Corrections officer Mariano Q. Falig Jr., who is facing “ice” charges, began Monday in federal court with U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona selecting the jury.
Assistant U.S. attorney Ross K. Naughton is prosecuting the case. Defense attorney Ramon Quichocho is counsel for Falig.
Quichocho filed Monday a motion to dismiss the indictment. As an alternative, he sought a continuance of the trial.
Quichocho argued that the recent disclosure of materials by the prosecution makes it clear that his client's right to effective assistance by counsel will be greatly impaired if the trial were to proceed yesterday.
Quichocho said the court should, in the alternative, grant a continuance to allow the defense to subpoena key witnesses, at the U.S. government's expense.
Falig was among nine persons arrested in August 2012 by combined federal and local enforcers during operations against “ice” distribution.
The indictment charged Falig and Vicente Aldan Sablan with conspiracy to distribute “ice” and distribution of “ice.”
In addition, Falig was charged with using, carrying, or possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime.
During the operation, federal agents allegedly obtained 1.22 grams of “ice” from a confidential source, who got the “ice” from Sablan.
Sablan signed a plea agreement with the U.S. government.