3rd suspect in clandestine ‘ice’ lab case pleads guilty

Kennedy

One of five men charged over an alleged clandestine “ice” laboratory on Saipan pleaded guilty in federal court Monday afternoon.

Vincent David Cabrera Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture crystal methamphetamine as part of a plea deal.

The offense carries a maximum penalty of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine not exceeding $1 million, supervised release of not less than three years, restitution, and a $100 special penalty.

Under the plea deal, Cabrera’s prison sentence will range from 210 to 240 months because the statutory maximum for the offense to which he pleaded guilty to is 20 years.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy recommended that Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona accept the plea.

Cabrera’s jury trial set for Oct. 2 was vacated.

Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe and Cabrera’s court-appointed counsel Benjamin Petersburg, did not object to unsealing of the plea deal.

According to Cabrera’s factual admissions, between July 1, 2017, and Feb. 25, 2018, he, along with Eugene Blas Repeki Jr., Rick Urumelog Omar Jr., Sidney Capelle Kani, and others, agreed to make ‘ice.” Cabrera said he knew of this and agreed to help. He, including Repeki, Omar, and Kani, bought items between July 1, 2017, and Feb. 25, 2018, to make “ice,” either to smoke it themselves or sell it.

Cabrera admitted maintaining a room at the Vegas Resort Hotel to make or use “ice.”

Last Friday, Repeki, also known as Uncle, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine.

Last May, David Muna Sablan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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