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Friday, April 18, 2014

Ex-cop gets 3 mos. prison term for using ‘ice’ again

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has revoked the supervised release of former police officer Florencio Q. Richards and sent him to three months in prison for using methamphetamine or “ice” again.

At a hearing on Thursday afternoon, Richards admitted to the allegations of violating the terms and conditions of his supervised release, including the use of “ice.”

After serving his three-month sentence, Richards will be placed on 33 months of supervised release.

Richards was required, among other things, to perform 100 hours of community service and participate in a substance abuse treatment program under the direction of the U.S. Probation Office.

Manglona told Richards that she hopes to see him return as a productive member of the community.

“You should get busy doing positive things,” the judge said.

During the probationary period, Richards is prohibited from using illegal drugs, consuming alcoholic beverages, and possessing firearms and dangerous weapons.

Assistant U.S. attorney Rami Badawy agreed to the U.S. Probation’s recommendation to impose three months in prison plus drug counseling and treatment.

Court-appointed defense counsel Michael Evangelista recommended drug counseling and treatment.

Last Jan. 24, Richards surrendered to the U.S. Marshal Service after learning about an arrest warrant the federal court issued against him.

Manglona issued the arrest warrant on Jan. 23 after the U.S. Probation Office moved to revoke the supervised release of Richards for allegedly using “ice” again and committing other violations of the terms and conditions of his probation.

Richards has been on three years of supervised probation since Feb. 20, 2013, after serving a 12-month prison term for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine or “ice,” distribution of “ice,” and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

According to U.S. Probation Officer Margarita Wonenberg, the defendant used “ice” on Dec. 30, 2013, failed to report to a probation officer, failed to follow the instructions of the probation officer, and failed to participate in a substance abuse treatment program.

Wonenberg said Richards tested presumptive positive for “ice” during a random drug test on Dec. 31, 2013, and admitted to using the drug a day before when confronted with the results.

The probation officer noted that this was Richards’ fourth positive drug test within a one-year period.

In August 2011, the federal court imposed a 24-month prison term on Richards for distributing “ice” while he was still an active officer.

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