Man in unauthorized opening of mail packages gets probation for two years


A man who pleaded guilty over the stealing of two Apple iPads and two Apple iPhones from the mail, was sentenced yesterday in federal court to two years of probation.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona noted that defendant Randy A. Sablan immediately took responsibility by admitting to the crime.

Manglona ordered the 35-year-old Sablan to perform 50 hours of community work service, pay $119.99 in restitution to one victim, and pay a $25 special assessment fee.

The judge urged Sablan to consider speaking to students or other members in the community about his experience in using methamphetamine or “ice.”

Manglona said she was actually thinking of imposing only one year of probation, but decided to impose two years of probation because of defendant having a drug issue.

Manglona asked Sablan to encourage anyone close to him that is using “ice” to bring that person to drug counseling.

Manglona told Sablan that he better not lose his job.

Sablan is currently working at Best Sunshine International, Ltd.

Manglona dismissed the remaining charges as part of the plea agreement.

Before the sentence was handed down, Sablan apologized to the court for the crime that he committed. He said he brought shame to his family.

“I’m sorry, it will not happen again,” he said.

Assistant U.S. attorney Russell Lorfing, counsel for the U.S. government, said they joined the U.S. Probation’s recommendation that there is no need to impose incarceration on Sablan.

Lorfing said a two-year probation is “sufficient” but “not greater than necessary” to comply with the purposes of sentencing.

Attorney Benjamin Petersburg, counsel for Sablan, also recommended a probation sentence.

“He is a family man, and currently employed,” Petersburg said, adding that defendant’s conduct in this case was due to his involvement in “ice.”

Attorney Bruce Berline, Petersburg’s co-counsel for Sablan, in court documents said “ice” changed Sablan’s behavior and brought him into contact with users, dealers, and other bad influences.

Berline said Sablan has been undergoing counseling during his pretrial release and has had very positive results.

Berline said Sablan is currently employed and supporting his family.

On the restitution issue, Berline said one victim was made whole in that he received two iPads from the retailer.

Additionally, Berline said, the two iPads at issue were recovered by authorities.

Berline said the retailer, Powermax, recovered its losses through USPS insurance and, presumably, the recovered iPads were also returned to Powermax.

Sablan signed a plea deal with the U.S. government. He pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized mail opening, which carries a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment, a $100,000 fine, and one-year supervised release.

According to the factual basis of the plea deal, Sablan opened a piece of mail that was not directed to him and without authority on Nov. 19, 2012.

The information charged Sablan with two counts of unauthorized mail opening and one count of misuse of postal property.

According to the information, the package that Sablan opened on Nov. 19, 2012, contained two Apple iPads.

On April 28, 2013, Sablan unlawfully opened a package that was addressed to a certain postal box. The package contained two Apple iPhones. He stole the two iPhones.

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

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