2 of 3 released in ‘ice’ case

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Two of three individuals who were charged in federal court with conspiracy to possess methamphetamine have been released.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona released Noribel Adao Mendez and Mary Rose Chelo Herradura on an unsecured bond last Tuesday. Their jury trial is set for Dec. 15 at 10am.

Mendez and Herradura were represented by court-appointed counsels Mark Hanson and Robert T. Torres, respectively. Both pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe asked the court last Oct. 9 to keep the third defendant, Jesse Reyes Babauta, in continued detention.

Colin Thompson, Babauta’s attorney, opposed the motion but Manglona granted the prosecution’s motion to detain Babauta. Babauta’s jury trial will start on Dec. 15.

Babauta had also pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Mendez, Herradura, and Babauta with one count of conspiracy to possess methamphetamine or “ice” with intent to distribute. The case was recently unsealed by the federal court.

According to the indictment, the three defendants conspired with other persons between Sept. 26 and 28, 2020, to possess meth, with intent to distribute.

The U.S. government also wants to forfeit any money or property from the offense upon conviction of the defendants.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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