The Department of Public Safety Drug Enforcement Task Force re-arrested Friday on Saipan a manager of a construction company who was also allegedly trafficking methamphetamine or “ice.”
DETF officers re-arrested Shun Qiu, 32, a Chinese national, after the Office of the Attorney General moved to revoke the court’s previous order to release him from custody because he has not cooperated with law enforcement in ongoing narcotics investigations.
At a hearing yesterday afternoon, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho retained the $100,000 cash bail that the court previously imposed on Qiu, who is also known as Brother.
Preliminary hearing in the drug case will be on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 1:30pm.
Camacho also quashed a bench warrant issued against Qiu for allegedly not appearing at a hearing in a traffic case charging him with driving while under the influence of alcohol and other charges.
The judge reset the arraignment in the traffic case to Feb. 20 at 9am.
Camacho found the defendant eligible for a court-appointed counsel.
Qiu, through an interpreter, said he is the manager of WAL Construction, which worked with a casino.
Chief public defender Douglas Hartig informed the court that, according to the prosecution, the Office of the Public Defender has a conflict of interest in representing Qiu.
Camacho said the court will appoint a private counsel for Qiu, but that the defendant may use the telephone at the Department of Corrections to contact a lawyer if he wants to hire one on his own.
In the CNMI government’s motion to revoke Qiu’s temporary release from custody, assistant attorney general Chester Hinds said a DETF officer arrested Qiu last Dec. 17 for trafficking of a controlled substance and illegal possession of a controlled substance.
Upon his arrest, Qiu volunteered to be a cooperating defendant that will assist law enforcement with their drug investigations, in exchange for his release without cash bail, subject to terms and conditions, Hinds said.
The court granted the government’s motion to seal the case to protect the confidentiality and integrity of ongoing drug or narcotic investigations.
The court also granted the government’s motion to release Qiu.
Hinds said that Qiu, however, has not cooperated with law enforcement in ongoing investigations and has not provided substantial assistance and accurate information to law enforcers.
According to DETF officer Jackson K. Davis in his declaration in support of the re-issuance of the arrest warrant, a cooperating defendant managed to buy $450 worth of “ice” from Qiu during a “buy-walk” operation in a parking lot of a store in Gualo Rai last Nov. 13.
Qiu allegedly took the methamphetamine from a source in western Garapan before handing it to the cooperating defendant.
Davis said their cooperating defendant was able to purchase $420 worth of “ice” from Qiu in a second “buy-walk” operation outside Qiu’s house in Koblerville last Nov. 19.
DETF then served an arrest warrant to Qiu at his house last Dec. 17 for trafficking and possession of a controlled substance.