A police officer accused of stealing snacks at a gas station in Susupe while on duty has pleaded guilty to theft, earning him a seven-day prison sentence under the plea deal.
Koji Maurice Nicky Taisacan, 28, admitted to taking the candies and drink, saying he thought he “could get away with it.”
Taisacan submitted his guilty plea in the middle of his bench trial last Monday afternoon.
Pursuant to the plea agreement, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho sentenced Taisacan to the maximum one-year imprisonment, the first seven days to be served day for day. The remaining 358 days of the sentence is suspended. Camacho said the suspended portion of the sentence may be imposed in whole or in part if Taisacan violates any law or Office of Adult Probation rules.
Upon release from the Department of Corrections, Taisacan will be placed under one year of supervised probation. He will be required to report to the Office of Adult Probation within 24 hours of being released.
The police officer was ordered to pay a $500 fine, $25 in court costs, and $120 in probation fee. The fines be may converted to community service.
Taisacan was ordered to pay $2.45 in restitution to Delta Management, which operates the Shell gas station in Susupe, for the Starbucks drink that was never recovered.
Taisacan was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service. He is prohibited from having any contact and to stay away from the Shell station in Susupe during his probation.
After the hearing, Camacho ordered the court marshals to take the police officer into custody so he could to start serving his sentence at once.
If Taisacan had gone to trial and were convicted of theft, he faced a possible maximum sentence of one-year imprisonment.
Camacho noted that Taisacan has no prior conviction.
Taisacan waived the pre-sentence investigation report. Joey P. San Nicolas, the court-appointed counsel of Taisacan, addressed the court.
Jim Arenovski, owner of Delta who was present in court and given an opportunity to address the court, chose not to do so.
According to the plea deal, Taisacan was on duty as a police officer when he stole four candy bars and a Starbucks drink with a total value of less than $250 from the Shell gas station in Susupe.
Assistant attorney general Jonathan Robert Glass Jr. appeared as counsel for the government.
Last Monday, Camacho rejected the first plea deal proposed for Taisacan as too lenient, having no jail term and other deterrent terms.
In rejecting it, Camacho said that the people of the CNMI deserve to expect more from their law enforcement officers. The judge added that there can be no justice without the appropriate punishment.
In the bench trial that ensued, the government’s first witness was the Shell gas station’s manager, who testified that he viewed the video of the incident.
The court admitted three exhibits, including the video showing Taisacan pulling up with a Department of Public Safety car to get gas, paid by a government fleet card.
Taisacan was seen in the video pocketing candies and a drink.
While the manager was still on the witness stand, Camacho ordered a lunch break.
When trial resumed in the afternoon, the prosecution and the defense counsel came up with a second plea agreement.