Alicia A.G. Limtiaco, U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, announced Friday that Jesus Sablan Palacios was found guilty on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2013, of three counts of felon in possession of firearm and/or ammunition, and three counts of unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of firearm and/or ammunition.
Palacios will be sentenced on March 14, 2014, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands.
Palacios faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life, under the armed career criminal sentencing enhancement.
The indictment filed on Aug. 22, 2013, charged that Palacios, after having been convicted of a crime, knowingly possessed six .22 caliber bullets, 10 Winchester 38SPL .38 caliber bullets, eight .9 mm caliber bullets and one Ruger, model 10/22, .22 caliber rifle, one .22 caliber rifle with its barrel and stock sawed off, and three .22 caliber bullets—all items that had been shipped and transported in interstate and foreign commerce.
Palacios was also charged with being an unlawful user of a controlled substance while knowingly possessing these items.
Limtiaco stated, “The possession of firearms and drugs is a potentially deadly combination. Innocent civilians and law enforcement are unnecessarily placed at great risk of harm by the exposure to firearms in the wrong hands. Those who use firearms to protect their illegal activities must know that they will face hard time.”
Limtiaco also stated: “Methamphetamine has been linked to an increase in violent crimes and results in devastating effects to individuals and to the community. Those who engage in the use of this illegal drug and found to be in possession of firearms will be prosecuted and face severe penalties.”
This case was investigated by special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration, and officers from the CNMI Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. attorneys Rami Badawy and Ross Naughton prosecuted the case. (USAO)