A former law enforcer with the special police in China was slapped with a five-year prison term for possession of large amounts of methamphetamine or “ice” in connection with his arrest for engaging in “ice” trafficking.
In a written order issued last Monday, Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo sentenced Fei Long Zheng to a total of five years imprisonment as to two counts of illegal possession of a controlled substance.
The 27-year-old Zheng was given credit for time served since his arrest on Dec. 14, 2016. He shall be released from prison on Dec. 15, 2021.
Govendo ordered the defendant to pay a $2,000 fine.
Govendo found Zheng’s remorse and law enforcement background to be mitigating circumstances.
The judge recognized that Zheng has no prior criminal history and was not charged with a violent crime.
Govendo said these circumstances, however, cannot be outweighed by the sheer amount of crystal methamphetamine that the defendant had possession of.
“The amount was high; one of the largest amounts in this court’s memory. This fact weighs heavily in favor of a stronger sentence,” he noted.
According to the Office of the Attorney General, Zheng sold 3.6 gross grams of meth to a confidential source on Dec. 10, 2016, the Drug Enforcement Task Force then executed a search/arrest warrant and found 31.1 gross grams at the defendant’s residence on Dec. 14, 2016.
Last July 17, Zheng pleaded guilty to two counts of illegal possession of a controlled substance.
Assistant attorney general Chester Hinds, counsel for the government, recommended a sentence to the maximum end of the range, eight years imprisonment, and to also a pay of $2,000 fine.
Hinds said the amounts of “ice” in this case, cannot be taken lightly.
Hinds said defendant’s dealings were not for personal use and that at the time of this incident, he did not have verifiable employment.
Defense counsel Charity Hodson recommended a sentence of two years imprisonment, with credit for time served, and a fine of $2,000.
Hodson said this period of incarceration has already rendered a deterrent and rehabilitative effect on Zheng.
She said Zheng was 25 years old when he was arrested and since his arrest, he has experienced and continues to experience remorse for his offense and has felt the fallout from his mistake.
Hodson said Zheng has been in custody ever since and not seen his baby boy, who was born on Saipan on Dec. 24, 2015, nor his former girlfriend since his arrest.
The lawyer disclosed that by 2010, Zheng was working with the special police in China, where he worked for the next three years.
In early 2013, Hodson said, Zheng got into a physical altercation with a former defendant who had been found not guilty of a violent crime.
Hodson said the defendant was the mayor’s son and Zheng was relieved from duty.
She said Zheng had heard from friends about Saipan and done some reading about the island.
Hodson said Zheng moved to Saipan in April 2013 and began working at a Chinese restaurant washing dishes.
She said Zheng eventually started working in the tourism industry, taking Chinese tourists around Saipan.
Hodson said Zheng became involved with the Chinese Association of Saipan and danced at such events as the Chinese New Year and the Liberation Day parade.