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Friday, April 18, 2014

Ex-Corrections officer uses ‘ice’ 3 days before serving his sentence
Defendant tells court at sentencing he was drug-free

Jesse Reyes Babauta, a former Corrections officer who was slapped with a prison sentence of four years and three months for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine or “ice,” used the illegal drug three days before he surrendered to federal authorities to start his prison term.

U.S. Probation Officer Gregory F. Arriola informed the U.S. District Court for the NMI on Friday that on Dec. 9, 2013, Babauta reported to the U.S. Probation Office upon his instruction for a random drug test.

Arriola said that before submitting to the test, Babauta admitted to using “ice” on Dec. 7, 2013, because he was reportedly stressed out about his upcoming surrender date and the fact that he would be away from his family.

Arriola said he submitted the report for informational purposes only and that no action is requested from the court as Babauta surrendered to begin serving his sentence the following day, Dec. 10.
Arriola said Babauta knew that a special condition of his pre-trial release prohibits him from using or possessing a narcotic drug or other controlled substances.

In December 2012, the U.S. Probation Office also told the court that Babauta admitted to drug use on two separate occasions during his pre-trial release.

On Dec. 5, 2012, Babauta pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute “ice.” That same, day, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona modified the supervision conditions to include substance abuse treatment, and to change the home detention to a curfew requirement.

On Oct. 18, 2013, Manglona slapped the defendant with a sentence of four years and three months in prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release.

Babauta was then directed to contact the U.S. Marshal’s Office by telephone thrice a week in order to determine a date for his self-surrender to start his sentence.

At the sentencing, assistant attorney general Ross Naughton recommended that the defendant be sentenced at the low end of the guidelines, which is three years and five months in prison.

Attorney Michael Dotts recommended that his client, Babauta, be sentenced to time served plus the maximum allowable probation, with the condition that Babauta be required to submit to random drug testing and continue to attend counseling.

In the sentencing memorandum, Dotts said Babauta is a drug addict and that even after his arrest, the defendant could not control himself and continued to use drugs.

Dotts said Babauta was placed in counseling, with the help of the Office of Probation, and the counseling has thus far been successful.

“Jesse is no longer using drugs,” Dotts at the time stated.
The lawyer said Babauta became addicted to “ice” before June 2010 and he left the Department of Corrections because of that addiction.

Dotts said Babauta tested positive during a random drug testing of DOC employees and that ended his career.

According to the indictment, Babauta conspired with other persons to distribute “ice” from June 2010 until Aug. 22, 2012, in one instance within 1,000 feet of a school.

Babauta has a prior conviction of disturbing the peace in 2007. (Ferdie de la Torre)

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