2nd defendant in clandestine ‘ice’ lab case pleads guilty


One of five men charged in connection with an alleged clandestine crystal methamphetamine or “ice” laboratory on Saipan pleaded guilty in federal court last Friday afternoon as part of a plea deal.

Eugene Blas Repeki Jr., also known as Uncle, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine. Steven Pixley is the court-appointed counsel for Repeki.

The offense carries a maximum penalty of not more than a 20-year term of imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $1 million, and not less than a three-year term of supervised release.

Under the plea agreement, the U.S. government expects Repeki’s guideline range to be 240 months imprisonment.

As part of the deal, the U.S. government will drop five other charges.

Repeki has yet to be sentenced. Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe appeared for the U.S. government at the hearing.

According to Repeki himself, between on or about July 1, 2017 and Feb. 25, 2018, Vincent David Cabrera Jr., Rick Urumelog Omar Jr., Sidney Capelle Kani, and others, agreed to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine.

Repeki said he knew of this agreement and that he joined, intending to help accomplish it.

Repeki said that he, along with others, including Cabrera, Omar, and Kani, obtained items to use to make methamphetamine, which they would smoke, as well as sell and/or give to other people.

Between July 1, 2017, and Feb. 25, 2018, members of the conspiracy, or person working at its behest, bought at least 150,000mg of pseudoephedrine from local pharmacies, which was eventually manufactured into at least 50 grams of actual methamphetamine.

Repeki said that on Feb. 1 and 8, 2018, he sold some of the “ice” to a confidential source of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Repeki’s case is before U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona.

Last May, David Muna Sablan, who left behind two bags in Garapan that contained chemicals and items used in making “ice,” pleaded guilty. He has yet to be sentenced.

Sablan reportedly threw a backpack and a bag that contained chemicals and items used in making “ice” during a police chase in Garapan last March 15. Four police officers complained of nausea and dizziness, and vomited after they opening the bags and inhaling the chemicals.

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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