Drug Court grad accused of drug trafficking is acquitted


Joseph T. White, center, a former Drug Court graduate, walks out of the courtroom at the Guma Hustisia after being acquitted of two charges of drug trafficking following a two-day jury trial. (KIMBERLY B. ESMORES)

A former Drug Court graduate who was accused of drug possession and trafficking was acquitted of all charges by a six-person jury after an hourlong deliberation.

A six-person jury consisting of both men and women found Joseph T. White not guilty of both charges of drug trafficking charges that he was tried within the span of a two-day trial.

During Tuesday’s closing arguments, the defense counsel for White, assistant public defender Tyler Scott, poked so many holes in the testimonies and evidences that the prosecution brought up in court that he eventually managed to stir reasonable doubt among the jurors.

Scott argued that, among the nine Drug Enforcement Task Force agents involved in the two buy-walk operations conducted against White back in July 2022, not one officer actually saw White selling the drugs to the task force’s confidential informant.

In addition, the defense argued that the car involved was not even White’s and the prosecution is basing its arguments on recordings and testimony from what the defense claims is not a credible source.

The defense stated that the government’s star witness, the confidential source, has lied throughout her testimony and even admitted to using drugs, which could’ve altered her thought process.

“She’s admitted to being a drug user, been using drugs every day despite her agreement with the task force. Think perhaps that could’ve caused her to have some memory problems? But we’re expected to believe her testimony beyond a reasonable doubt. But she lies,” Scott said.

Following the closing arguments, the jury was dismissed to deliberate; roughly an hour later, they returned with a verdict acquitting White of both counts of trafficking of a controlled substance.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, White, also known as “Dimps,” one of the CNMI’s first Drug Court graduates, was arrested back in August 2022 on two counts of possession and two counts of trafficking crystal methamphetamine, more commonly known as “ice.” The charges were later modified to reflect just two counts of trafficking of a controlled substance.

According to court documents, task force officers learned from a cooperating source last July 12, 2022 that they had purchased $100 worth of “ice” from White on July 11, 2022.

Based on this information, task force officers launched two controlled buy-walk operations against White, the first one on July 13, 2022 and the second one on July 14, 2022.

According to the police, the first buy-walk operation resulted in the cooperating source buying drugs from White in Garapan in the afternoon of that day. Task force officers acquired one small Ziplock baggie containing a crystalline substance that was later tested and yielded presumptive positive for methamphetamine.

The second buy-walk operation was conducted the next day, July 14 and like the previous operation, the confidential source purchased $100 worth of methamphetamine from White, but this time at Friendly Market in San Jose.

After the operation, task force officers showed the confidential source a photo of White who confirmed for officers that he was “Dimps,” the man they had just purchased the drugs from.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.