Ex-DOC officer allegedly pawned gun later used in hostage-taking

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The Superior Court has imposed a $100,000 cash bail on a former Department of Corrections officer who allegedly pawned his government-issued handgun that was later used in the fatal hostage-taking incident earlier this year

Superior Court Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan imposed a $100,000 cash bail on Eloy Reyes Dela Cruz Jr., a former Corrections officer, because he is accused of pawning the handgun to Gordon Castro for $40 cash and $40 worth of methamphetamine.

Castro later used the handgun in a hostage-taking in March that resulted in the death of Castro and his girlfriend whom he took as a hostage to evade arrest.

After the bail hearing, Dela Cruz was remanded to DOC. Bogdan ordered Dela Cruz to return to court on Oct. 15 at 1:30pm for a preliminary hearing and on Oct. 26 at 9am for an arraignment.

Dela Cruz does not possess a CNMI-firearms ammunition explosive ID card, nor is he registered to sell or transfer, pawn or loan any firearm or ammunition.

According to court documents, Dela Cruz called Michael Jordan Cabrera on Feb. 24, 2020, to ask if he knows anyone interested in buying or trading a chainsaw for methamphetamine or “ice.”

Cabrera said he was picked up by Dela Cruz and they went to a poker establishment in Susupe where they met with Castro who refused to trade “ice” for the chainsaw.

Cabrera said Dela Cruz then offered his government-issued black 9mm semiautomatic firearm for $40 and $40 worth of ice. Cabrera said. Dela Cruz then provided his firearm to Castro as collateral.

On Feb. 26, 2020, Dela Cruz reported that his firearm had been stolen from his car.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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