Ex-cop admits using ‘ice’ again, other violations


Former police officer Florencio Q. Richards, one of four participants in the Drug Offender Re-entry Program, was sanctioned with jail time for using methamphetamine or “ice” again.

At a revocation hearing on Wednesday, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona revoked Richards’ supervised release and sentenced him to a term of time served.

Richards was placed on 24 months of supervised release.

During the supervised release, the defendant is required to, among other conditions, participate in a substance abuse treatment program, refrain from using or possessing controlled substance any alcoholic beverages, and perform 100 hours of community work service.

According to the minutes of Wednesday’s hearing, attorney Michael Dotts, counsel for Richards, argued regarding defendant’s employment and participation in the Drug Offender Re-entry Program, in spite of the missteps.

Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe, counsel for the U.S. government, had no objection to a time served sentence.

Manglona also noted that Richards had admitted to violating his conditions of supervised release back on Dec. 8, 2015.

At the DORE hearing on Tuesday, Manglona sanctioned Richards for his violation and remanded him to the custody of the U.S. Marshal.

Manglona ordered Richards to appear at the revocation hearing set last Wednesday.

Richards told the judge that he wants to continue participating with DORE Program.

The next DORE Program session will be on April 19 at 3:30pm.

During Tuesday’s session, U.S. Probation Officer Gregory Arriola informed the DORE Team regarding Richards testing presumptive positive for his drug test prior to that day’s session.

Arriola also disclosed that Richards had failed to appear for his drug testing on Feb. 28, 2016.

Arriola also revealed that Richards’ employer stated that the defendant was given a verbal warning regarding his attendance.

Manglona and DORE Team members advised Richards regarding being honest about his actions.

Richards admitted to using “ice” apparently due to stress resulting from transportation issues, change in work schedules, and having to attend counseling sessions.

Richards apologized to the members of DORE Team.

Manglona told Richards that his honesty may have saved him from severe consequences.

Manglona accepted the recommendation by the DORE Team that it make a finding that Richards has not been in compliance with his terms of supervised release.

The judge also accepted DORE Team’s recommendation not to grant Richards with credit of one month for his participation in the DORE Program.

At last December’s revocation hearing, Richards admitted to the allegations that he used “ice” again and committed other violations while on supervised release.

Richards admitted to violating his conditions of supervised release and stated he had just started a new job at a gasoline station.

In August 2011, the federal court sentenced Richards to 24 months in prison for distributing “ice” while he was still an active officer.

On Jan. 30, 2014, Manglona revoked the supervised release of Richards and sent him to three months in prison with credit for time served for using “ice” again.

The judge ordered that after serving the three months in prison, the defendant will be placed on 33 months of supervised release.

In December 2014, the court revoked Richards’ supervised release and slapped him with a nine-month prison term for violating his probation by repeatedly using “ice.” He was then placed on 24 months of supervised release.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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