The Department of Corrections has refused to admit or deny having granted furlough to former police officer Victor Val Hocog, who admitted to illegal possession of methamphetamine or “ice” and was slapped with a 15-month prison term.
DOC Director Greg Castro assured the public, however, that the department does not operate in secrecy.
Castro pointed out yesterday that prison records are protected by law and are exempt from public inspection as detailed in Title I Government, Division 9, Chapter 9 or the Open Government Meetings and Records.
With regards to furlough, Castro said an inmate’s eligibility for this program can be found in the CNMI’s Administrative Act.
“I am not aware that favoritism was extended to any particular inmate,” the director said.
Sources at DOC disclosed that Hocog was granted furlough by then-DOC commissioner Ramon Mafnas.
Some citizens have wondered after seeing Hocog out of jail.
At his change of plea hearing last Sept. 25, Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert Naraja sentenced Hocog to 15 months in prison without parole. Hocog was given credit for 226 days of time served. His release date from DOC is April 15, 2015.
Last November, Naraja sealed Hocog’s court records.
Drug Enforcement Task Force police detective Jeffrey I. Norita stated in his report that during two transactions in January 2014, the then-active police officer Hocog handed a total of $100 worth of “ice” to the Task Force’s cooperating source at a poker establishment in As Lito.
Norita said that during the first transaction, Hocog used a brown SUV bearing a license plate AEG-871.
Officers revealed that the SUV was then leased to the office of Sen. Victor Hocog, who is the defendant’s father and is now the Senate president.
In 2009, the Office of the Attorney General charged the younger Hocog with assault and battery, attempted kidnapping, kidnapping, and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
Hocog signed a plea deal with the OAG. In 2011, he pleaded guilty to assault and battery. Naraja sentenced him to a year in prison, all suspended except for nine days, with credit for nine days of served.
The Department of Public Safety hired Hocog back as a police officer 1 in August 2013.