Ex-cop Richards arrested again for using ‘ice’

Former police officer Florencio Q. Richards, a former participant of the District Court’s Drug Offender Re-entry Program, was arrested again on Friday for allegedly using methamphetamine or “ice” more than three times over one year.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy issued the arrest warrant against Richards on Friday.

Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona set Richards’ arraignment for Wednesday at 1:30pm and possible revocation sentencing for July 3 at 1:30pm, and remanded Richards to the custody of the U.S. Marshal.

The U.S. Probation Office had requested to revoke Richards’ supervision.

According to U.S. Probation Officer Gregory F. Arriola, Richards tested presumptive positive for crystal meth during tests and admitted using “ice” on May 12 and 18 and June 3 and 5 in 2017.

Arriola said Richards also failed to follow instructions about calling in every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and failed to report as instructed to the U.S. Probation Office last June 5, 12, 13, and 14.

Arriola said Richards failed to report to a group counseling session, individual counseling session, and a drug test last June 3.

Attorney David Banes stood as counsel for Richards. Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe was counsel for the U.S. government.

In January 2016, Richards was accepted into the Drug Offender Re-entry program.

In March 2016, his term of supervised released was revoked for “ice” use. He was given an imprisonment term of time served (one day), followed by 24 months of supervised release.

In May 2016, Richards received a 14-day prison sanction as a result of drug use on three occasions.

In August 2016, he received a 12-day jail sanction for drug use and missing a counseling session.

In December 2016, he received a 14-day prison sanction as a result of his failure to report to two random drug tests and his admission to drug use.

In February 2017, Richards received a two-day jail sanction after submitting a diluted urine specimen.

In March 2017, Richards was terminated from the DORE program and received a one-month prison sanction.

Richards was ordered to return to traditional supervision upon his release.

He was released on April 21, 2017. His supervision is currently set to expire on March 22, 2018.

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

In January 2014, Manglona revoked the supervised release of Richards and sent him to three months in prison for using “ice” again.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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