DETF agents arrest suspected ‘ice’ trafficker


Members of the CNMI Drug Enforcement Task Force arrested on Friday in Garapan an ex-convict who is allegedly active in selling methamphetamine or “ice” on Saipan.

John Richard Palacios De Leon Guerrero, 40, also known as Massi, was taken to Superior Court yesterday on charges of trafficking of controlled substance and possession of controlled substance.

Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho maintained the $100,000 cash bail and set the preliminary hearing for Thursday, Aug. 25, at 9am.

Assistant public defender Michael Sato was appointed as counsel for De Leon Guerrero.

Citing defendant’s prior convictions for burglary, theft, and illegal possession of controlled substance, assistant attorney general Barbara Cepeda recommended the $100,000 cash bail.

DETF member Police Officer Roque K. Camacho stated in his report that last Tuesday, Aug. 16, a “confidential source” informed him that John Massi, later identified as De Leon Guerrero, has been selling “ice.”

The “confidential source” claimed that a week ago he/she managed to buy $120 worth of “ice” from De Leon Guerrero.

Camacho said he also has personal knowledge that De Leon Guerrero was also involved in an ongoing DETF narcotics investigation.

Camacho said during a buy-operation, the “confidential source” managed to purchase .70 gross grams of “ice” worth $120 from De Leon Guerrero outside his residence in Lower Miha in Garapan Thursday at noon.

It was De Leon Guerrero’s alleged drug associate who handed the “ice” to the “confidential source.”

It’s not clear yet as of yesterday whether the alleged drug associate was already arrested.

In May 2015, De Leon Guerrero pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a controlled substance and was slapped with a one-year prison term. In that case he reportedly engaged police officers in a car chase and threw a small bag containing “ice.”

De Leon Guerrero’s father, former Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board chair Francisco Q. Deleon Guerrero, is currently serving a six-year prison term at the Department of Corrections for sexually abusing a minor girl.

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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