Ex-CUC line crew gets six years in prison for burglary


A former line crew of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. who pleaded guilty to burglary and engaging police officers in a car chase using a stolen vehicle was slapped yesterday with a six-year prison term.

Daro Reyes Cabrera, 39, was sentenced to a total of seven years in prison, with one year suspended.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho said the suspended one-year sentence would allow Cabrera to pay restitution to his victim, Bruce Berline, CUC, and the Department of Public Safety.

Cabrera was ordered to pay Berline $170; CUC $440 for its Ford F250 utility vehicle for damage and property loss; and DPS $5,004 for its Toyota Tacoma damage and property loss.

Cabrera was given credit for time served since his arrest on July 14, 2016. He will be eligible to apply for parole after serving the first two years of his six-year sentence.

He will then be placed on probation for three years.

The Office of the Attorney General originally charged Cabrera with charges that would have resulted in a possible maximum sentence of 16 years and six months.

Later, a plea deal with Cabrera offered a possible sentence of just seven years imprisonment.

The judge noted that Cabrera has a prior conviction for burglary, in which he received a five-year suspended sentence.

“This prior lenient sentence failed to rehabilitate the defendant, and failed to be a significant deterrence,” he said.

Camacho said Cabrera requires a much longer sentence to insure that he fully understands his actions and is deterred from committing any future crimes.

He pointed out that during the pursuit, Cabrera used an F-250 CUC utility truck to ram a DPS police barricade, resulting in police officer Rudolfo Hermosilla’s left wrist being injured.

The judge said the officers opted to quickly remove Cabrera from the CUC vehicle.

“Defendant is alive today because DPS officers did not use their firearms and respond with deadly force,” he said.

Berline stated that Cabrera’s action of breaking into his home “have taken away a degree of peacefulness, tranquility, and safety that my family used to have living on Saipan.”

Berline said Cabrera returned some of the items he stole, only after he knew he had been caught red-handed by a security camera.

Cabrera pleaded guilty to burglary, theft of vehicle, and criminal mischief as part of a plea deal. The offenses carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

Assistant attorney general Heather Barcinas, counsel for the government, recommended a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment.

Assistant public defender Nancy Dominski, counsel for Cabrera, recommended a three-year prison term.

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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