Ex-DFW manager pleads guilty to handgun possession, DUI


A former Division of Fish and Wildlife manager who was arrested last year after he was allegedly found drunk when his car rear-ended another vehicle on Saipan and was then found with a handgun and ammunition pleaded guilty last week.

Roque Arriola Santos, 65, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number and driving while under the influence of alcohol, with a blood alcohol concentration greater than the allowed limit of .08 percent.

Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo set Santos’ sentencing for March 26, 2018. Under the plea deal, Santos will be sentenced to prison between zero and one year. He will then be placed on supervised probation for five years.

He will still be allowed to travel, subject to approval by the Office of Adult Probation, provided that he pays all court costs, fines and fees, and complete community work service prior to his departure.

According to the plea agreement, Santos was found in possession of a black Ruger P85 9mm handgun with an obliterated or changed serial number on Feb. 3, 2017.

Santos was also found driving a vehicle with a BAC of 0.174 percent.

In an interview with police last Feb. 4, 2017, Santos claimed finding the handgun and its holster beneath a tree while doing a routine check at the Marina Cove.

Santos said he then proceeded to Johnny’s Bar in Garapan and after having seven beers, he decided to head back to Marina Cove to sleep.

Two police officers were at a stop at the Navy Hill traffic light on Feb. 3, 2017, when they saw the vehicle being driven by Santos swerve off the main road while heading north on Chalan Pale Arnold Road. This prompted the officers to chase the car, which then rear-ended a Toyota 4 Runner that was also heading north.

One officer checked Santos’ car and saw that its air bag was deployed and the lone occupant, Santos, kept complaining of chest pain.

While waiting for medics to arrive, the officer noticed Santos reach for something on the front passenger seat. The officer then saw the handgun, which was loaded. A holster containing bullets was also found in the car.

Police said that Santos, who smelled of alcohol, was uncooperative. DPS records show that Santos is not a valid registered firearms carrier.
Joaquin Torres is counsel for Santos. Assistant attorney general Robert Glass Jr. appeared for the government.

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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