Four men, including two facing methamphetamine or “ice” cases, have entered guilty pleas before Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert C. Naraja.
At a change of plea hearing on Tuesday, 26-year-old Kyle San Nicolas Cepeda and 49-year-old Dusty Nisarafach pleaded guilty to the offense of illegal possession of controlled substance.
Derrick Roque Mafnas Babauta, 28, pleaded guilty to the charge of receiving stolen property, while Kuma Xiong Lee, 26, pleaded guilty to the charge of selling alcohol to an underage person and without an identification card.
Naraja accepted the defendants’ guilty pleas and the plea agreements.
Naraja sentenced Cepeda and Nisarafach to six months imprisonment. He slapped Babauta with a one-year prison term and sentenced Lee to a six-month probation.
In Cepeda’s case, the Office of the Attorney General charged him with illegal possession of a controlled substance, trafficking of a controlled substance, and conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance.
Cepeda signed a plea deal with the government and pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a controlled substance. As part of the agreement, the government moved to dismiss the remaining charges. The court granted the motion.
According to the factual basis of the plea deal, Cepeda unlawfully possessed one gram or less of methamphetamine on Tinian last Jan. 6.
Police said during a controlled buy operation, their informant managed to buy $50 worth of “ice” from Cepeda and two other men in front of Poker Club.
Naraja sentenced Cepeda to six months imprisonment, with credit of six months.
It means that Cepeda would no longer serve his prison term. He was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and $100 in court fee.
In Nisarafach’s case, the OAG charged him with illegal possession of controlled substance. He signed a plea deal with the government and pleaded guilty to the offense.
According to the factual basis of the plea agreement, Nisarafach intentionally possessed one gram or less of “ice” on Dec. 21, 2015.
Police said Nisarafach was driving a car when police pulled him over for traffic violations and that he was found in possession of “ice” and other drug paraphernalia in Kagman 3 last Dec. 21.
Naraja sentenced Nisarafach to six months imprisonment, with credit of nine days of time served.
Naraja granted Nisarafach’s request to start serving the prison term at the Department of Corrections on Monday, Sept. 19, at 9am.
The defendant was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and $100 in court costs.
In Babauta’s case, the OAG charged him with receiving stolen property. He entered a plea deal with the government and pleaded guilty to the offense.
According to the factual basis of the plea agreement, on or between Jan. 12 and 13, 2016 on Saipan, Babauta purposely received property of Matthew Iguel knowing that it has been stolen.
Police said Juvenile Corrections Officer Iguel’s discovery of his missing handcuffs led to the arrest of his neighbor, Babauta, who allegedly burglarized and stole numerous items from his house in Kagman.
Iguel told a responding police officer that he was outside his residence when he noticed handcuffs on the door hanging at a house, which was used to be abandoned and being occupied by Babauta.
Iguel checked the handcuffs and verified that it was his missing handcuffs. He then saw inside the house his stolen belongings such as laptop, backpack, electric fan, and beach chair.
Naraja sentenced Babauta to three years imprisonment, all suspended except one year.
Babauta was given credit for 164 days of time served. After completing the prison term, he will be placed on probation for five years and ordered to pay $3,622 in restitution to Iguel and $100 in fine. He was required to perform 200 hours of community work service.
In Lee’s case, the OAG charged him with selling alcohol to an underage person and without an identification card
Lee signed a plea deal with the government and pleaded guilty to the offense.
According to the factual basis of the plea deal, on March 28, 2016 at Green Consume Market on Saipan, Lee unlawfully sold alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of 21, who has not in the immediate possession of an identification card.
Naraja sentenced Lee to 30 days imprisonment, all suspended.
Lee was placed on six months probation and required to pay a $1,000 fine, $50 probation fee, and $25 in court costs. He was ordered to perform 40 hours of community work service.
The $1,000 bail that Lee posted was exonerated and forfeited to pay the fine.
Assistant attorney general Heather Barcinas appeared for the government. Attorney Michael Norita Evangelista served as counsel for Cepeda. Atty. Evangelista is not related to Michael Borja Evangelista, who is Cepeda’s co-defendant in this case.
Assistant public defender Cindy Nesbit represented Nisarafach and Lee. Chief public defender Douglas Hartig appeared as counsel for Babauta.