Federal prosecutor opposes reducing sentence


The U.S. government opposes reducing the sentence to be imposed on a man who confessed that their group “cooked” meth using the so-called shake-and-bake method.

In the U.S. government’s sentencing recommendation, assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe insists that Sidney Capelle Kani is not entitled to a reduced sentence, having expressly admitted to acting as a middleman for drug deals.

Citing Kani’s plea agreement, Backe said that Kani admitted that he obtained many items over a two-month span “to use to make meth” which he, along with his conspirators, “would smoke, as well as sell and/or give to other people.”

Kani will be sentenced on April 29 at 1:30pm.

In May 2018, Kani pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine, and manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine on premises where a child is present and resides.

The charges carry a total maximum penalty of not more than 40 years and a fine not to exceed $1.2 million.

In his admissions, Kani said that, between July 1, 2017, and Feb. 25, 2018, his co-defendants—Vincent David Cabrera Jr., Eugene Blas Repeki Jr., and Rick Urumelog Omar Jr.—along with others, agreed to manufacture and distribute meth.

Kani said that, beginning on at least Jan. 1, 2018, he knew of the group’s agreement to make and distribute meth and that he joined in the agreement.
The remaining defendants also pleaded guilty.

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
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