DETF arrests suspected ‘ice’ trafficker


The CNMI Drug Enforcement Task Force arrested last week a 44-year-old man for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine or “ice” on Saipan.

Juan Sablan Ada Jr. was taken Friday, his birthday, before Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho for a bail hearing in the Supreme Court courtroom. Camacho set Ada’s bail at $100,000 cash and set the preliminary hearing for April 13 at 2:30pm.

The court will appoint a private counsel for Ada after assistant attorney general Chester Hinds informed the court that the Office of the Public Defender cannot represent the defendant due to conflict. The OPD is apparently representing another defendant involved in the investigation in this case.

According to DETF officer Maynard Reyes in his report, they met with a cooperating defendant last Dec. 2 to arrange a “controlled buy-walk” operation against Ada. On the same day, the cooperating defendant managed to buy $450 worth of methamphetamine from Ada at the latter’s house in Koblerville, Reyes said.

At the hearing, only six people, including Saipan Tribune, were allowed in the courtroom as the CNMI Judiciary has been implementing strict policy due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ada and his lawyer were placed in a separate room right before the courtroom’s main door.

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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