Ex-Corrections officer Falig pleads guilty to ‘ice’ possession


Former Corrections officer Mariano Q. Falig Jr. pleaded guilty yesterday to the offense of illegal possession of controlled substance involving 0.30 gross grams of crystal methamphetamine or “ice.”

Falig, 38, also admitted to violating the terms and conditions of his probation in connection with his conviction in 2015 in a domestic violence case.

Under the plea deal, the defendant is facing up to possible maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho accepted Falig’s guilty plea and the plea agreement.

Camacho granted the defendant’s request for a pre-sentence investigation report and set the sentencing for Jan. 18, 2017 at 9am.

The judge vacated the bench trial set for Oct. 3, 2016.

After the hearing, Falig was remanded into the custody of the Department of Corrections.

The Office of the Attorney General originally charged the defendant with two counts of illegal possession of controlled substance and one count of unlawful possession of ammunition.

The OAG later filed an amended information containing one count of illegal possession of controlled substance and one count of unlawful possession of ammunition.

Last Sept. 6, the OAG requested the court to allow the government to remove the charge of possession of ammunition. The court granted the request. The second amended information contained only one count of illegal possession of controlled substance.

Falig and counsel, assistant public defender Michael Sato, signed a plea deal with the government represented by assistant attorney general Chester Hinds.

According to the factual basis of the plea agreement, on June 7, 2016 on Saipan, Falig unlawfully possessed 0.30 gross grams of crystal methamphetamine.

The OAG recently moved to revoke Falig’s probation for failing to obey all CNMI laws when he was arrested last June 8 for the charges of illegal possession of controlled substance and unlawful possession of ammunition.

In July 2015, Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio slapped Falig with a one-year prison term for pleading guilty to the offenses of assault and criminal mischief when he slashed the tire and scratched with a knife the vehicle of his then-pregnant girlfriend and threatened to kill her outside a bar in Garapan in November 2014.

Kim-Tenorio gave Falig 230 days of credit for time served.

Upon release from prison, the defendant was placed on supervised probation for three years.

In March 2014, a federal court jury acquitted Falig of the charges that he distributed “ice” on Saipan.

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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