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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Alleged chief of ‘ice’ suppliers raises detention issue to the Ninth Circuit

Xing Bo Fang, who is reportedly the No. I in command of an organization of drug suppliers on Saipan, has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit a federal court order for his detention pending trial of his case.

Attorney David G. Banes, court-appointed counsel for Fang, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the NMI a notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

Banes also asked the federal court to provide him with a transcript of Monday’s detention hearing. Once they have it, Banes plans to file a memorandum challenging the legal and factual basis of the detention order.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather Kennedy ordered Fang’s continued detention pending trial. Kennedy said the evidence shows there is no condition that will assure Fang’s appearance in court.

Kennedy said that Fang’s offer of Carlos Torres as a third-party custodian does not rebut presumption of detention.

Kennedy pointed out that Fang lives alone and is jobless. She said he does not have enough economic, family, or social ties to the community that will ensure that he will show up in court for his trial.

The judge also noted that the case involves more than 100 grams of methamphetamine or “ice.”

Kennedy said the weight of the evidence against Fang, including audio and video recordings of events, provided clear and convincing evidence that no condition of release will reasonably assure the safety of the community.

Fang was among seven persons recently arrested for alleged distribution of “ice.”

Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Jacqueline R. Gordon disclosed in documents filed in court that during their operation against the 46-year-old Fang, they were able to seize 135.6 gross grams of substance that tested positive for “ice.”

Gordon said the DEA Saipan Post of Duty initiated an investigation into Fang in July 2012 based on information received from a confidential source that the suspect is a large-scale meth distributor.

Gordon said that, according to their confidential source, Fang is the leader of “ice” distributors on Saipan.

Fang is the alleged source of “ice” supply for several Chinese nationals, including Yu Hua Wang, who is the alleged second in command to Fang. Wang was also arrested in the operation. A complaint charged both with distributing “ice” on Dec. 27, 2013.

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