Federal court’s Drug Court convenes

»Ex-CBP officer, ex-cop among the first 4 applicants

The U.S. District Court for the NMI’s Drug Court convened for the first time yesterday with four applicants.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona presided over the session for applicants who are all federal probationers—former U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer Bob Hajime Deleon Guerrero Yamagishi, former police officer Florencio Q. Richards, Vicente Aldan Sablan, and Francisco Nakatsukasa Basa.

Manglona explained to the probationers that their application to the Drug Court is voluntary.

Manglona called the applicants in front one by one and asked them questions. Other members of the Drug Court panel asked questions and provided “positive” information as well about the applicants.

The judge expressed hope that the applicants will be the Drug Court’s first success story.

After the session, Manglona and other members of the panel gave rounds of applause to the applicants.

Manglona said the Drug Court will reconvene after a month and asked the applicants to attend.

Sitting beside Manglona was U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather Kennedy. Among those sitting in the panel were U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and NMI Alicia A. G. Limtiaco, U.S. probation officers Margarita Wonenberg, Gregory Arriola, and Juanette David-Atalig, and attorneys Robert Torres and David Banes.

The Federal Reentry/Drug Court is a post-incarceration cooperative effort program of the U.S. District Courts, U.S. Probation Office, Federal Public Defender, and U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The federal Drug Court provides treatment and sanctions alternatives to address re-integration into the community for non-violent, substance abuse offenders released from federal prison.

The Superior Court is also creating its Drug Court.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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