A man who was arrested last December for trafficking methamphetamine or “ice,” but pleaded guilty to illegal possession of controlled substance, was slapped with a three-year prison term.
Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho sentenced Raymond DLG King, 53, to five years imprisonment all suspended except three years.
Camacho said King shall be eligible for parole after serving the first one year in prison that he shall spend day to day
After completing the prison term, the defendant will be placed on supervised probation for two years.
Last March 27, King entered a guilty plea. He waived to have a pre-sentence investigation report.
King was not eligible to participate in the drug court program due to a prior criminal and drug conviction.
Camacho noted at the previous change of plea hearing that King has a prior conviction for theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received.
King was among six persons arrested for trafficking and illegal possession of methamphetamine in separate operations against “ice” by the CNMI Drug Enforcement Task Force and Drug Enforcement Administration early December of 2017.
Last Dec. 12, the Office of the Attorney General filed an information charging King with two counts of trafficking of controlled substance and two counts of illegal possession of controlled substance. The charges carry a total maximum sentence of 60 years imprisonment.
Last March 8, OAG filed an amended information charging King with only one count of illegal possession of controlled substance. The offense carries a maximum sentence of five years prison term.
According to the factual basis of the plea deal, King unlawfully possessed approximately 0.6 gross grams of crystal methamphetamine on Nov. 27, 2017 on Saipan.
Under the plea deal, the court must consider a range of zero (credit for time served) to three years imprisonment.
Hinds said based on King’s criminal actions and the type of crime committed the CNMI, he asked that the court sentence him to three years in jail and two years probation, and a $2,000 fine.
Hinds noted that King has a prior conviction for meth possession in which he was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Hinds said King has been arrested for domestic violence incidents, involving two separate women.
One of those women, the prosecutor said, then applied for and received a temporary restraining order against King.
Hinds said meth addition “could” be considered a victimless crime, but not to family members affected by the addict’s action.
Furthermore, he said, this defendant has helped to create addicts and hence, victims in the Commonwealth.
Hinds said King is correct that the amount of meth in this case is small.
Nevertheless, Hinds said, King was in possession to sell, which made the situation different than a simple possession.
Assistant public defender Nancy Dominski, counsel for King, recommended a conditional discharge sentence, or in the alternative all time suspended except for time served.
King has been in jail since his arrest on Dec. 4, 2017.
Dominski requested the court to place King on probation for five years.
Dominski said as a condition of probation, King should attend drug/alcohol counseling as specified by probation.
Dominski said King has accepted responsibility and expressed remorse.
She said King admits his addiction, and requests treatment for the same.
Dominski said King has an ex-wife and an 8-year-old son that needs his support.
She said King has one prior non-violent conviction that is over 30 years old.
A Drug Enforcement Task Force agent said that their “cooperating source” was able to purchase from King $180 worth of “ice” and $180 more worth of “ice” during “buy-walk” operations in Chalan Kanoa last Nov. 27 and 28.