Confessed meth user gets 8-mo. prison term for ‘ice’ distribution conspiracy

The federal court on Friday slapped an eight-month prison term against Vicente Aldan Sablan, a confessed drug user who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine or “ice.”

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona gave Sablan credit for 28 days of time served. Upon release from prison, Sablan will be placed on three years of supervised release, during which he will be required, among other conditions, to perform 100 hours of community service and participate in a substance abuse treatment program.

Sablan was ordered to self-surrender to the U.S. Marshal on April 25, 2014, to start serving his sentence.

Assistant U.S. attorney Ross Naughton and the U.S. Probation Office recommended a sentence of eight months imprisonment, the low end of the sentencing guideline range.

Defense attorney Mark Scoggins recommended a sentence of home detention or that Sablan participate in the Lighthouse Recovery Center in Guam.

Sablan apologized to the court and asked for a sentence of home confinement.

U.S. Probation Officer Gregory F. Arriola told the court on Thursday about Sablan’s alleged “ice” use in violation of the special condition of his bail.

Arriola disclosed that Sablan failed to report for a counseling session on March 25, 2014. The next day, Sablan submitted to a random drug test and tested presumptive positive for “ice” use, Arriola said.

When confronted with the test result, Sablan reportedly denied using the drug.

The specimen was packaged and sent to the laboratory for further analysis.

On March 27, 2014, the probation officer said, Sablan admitted to the treatment vendor that he had used meth on March 25.

In October 2013, Sablan’s release conditions were modified to include substance abuse treatment as a result of his admission to drug use.

An indictment charged Sablan and former Department of Corrections officer Mariano Q. Falig with conspiracy to distribute meth and distribution of meth.

A federal jury aquitted Falig during a re-trial last February.

Sablan pleaded guilty as part of a deal with the U.S. government.

During Falig’s retrial in February, Sablan testified that he served as a drug courier for Falig in purchasing $700 worth of “ice” from a supplier in Lower Navy Hill on March 22, 2011.

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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