Businessman gets 8-year sentence for ‘ice’ possession


A man who was convicted by a federal jury of possessing at least 5 grams of methamphetamine or “ice” was sentenced Friday to eight years and one month in prison.

Yang Zou, a Chinese national, was given credit for 338 days of time served. Upon his release, he will be placed on supervised release for four years. That includes reporting to an immigration official for deportation proceedings.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona also required Zou to participate in a substance abuse treatment program, perform 100 hours of community service, and pay a $100 special assessment fee.

Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe had recommended a sentence of 97 months or eight years and one month—at the high end of the sentencing guideline range

Colin Thompson, a private counsel for Zou, recommended a prison sentence of 78 month—six years and six months.

After the hearing, Zou was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshal.

On April 15, 2016, federal jurors found Zou guilty of one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute at least 5 grams of methamphetamine. The offense carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.

Saipan Tribune learned that Zou has a taxi and tour businesses on Saipan.

At the trial, the prosecution called a total of seven witnesses to the stand, including Yang Kang Chen, a Chinese national who already pleaded guilty to the charge of distribution of a controlled substance.

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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