Judge places former Sports and Rec official under house arrest

»Ex-DPW secretary, father of defendant, serves as third-party custodian

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho ordered yesterday the release of former Division of Sports and Recreation deputy director John Benavente Reyes Jr. to his father, who will serve as his third-party custodian.

In granting Reyes’ motion to modify the bail, Camacho placed the 36-year-old Reyes under house arrest and required him to provide a map to his residence.

No money was required to post, but CNMI and federal officers are allowed to check if Reyes is at home.

Arraignment will be on Feb. 23 at 9am.

Assistant public defender Michael Sato, counsel for Reyes, moved to modify the $2,250 cash bail and recommended defendant’s father, former Department of Public Works secretary Juan S. Reyes Jr., as third-party custodian.

Sato asked the court to modify the bail to allow Reyes’ release upon posting $225 or 10 percent of the bail amount.

Assistant attorney general Emily Cohen appeared as counsel for the government.

Police arrested Reyes on Friday morning for alleged possession of methamphetamine or “ice” and for reckless driving.

Police detective Catherine B. Pangelinan stated in her report she was driving along Beach Road in Chalan Kanoa when she saw a blue car by Viva Poker heading north on the outer lane.

The blue car, being driven by Reyes, accelerated and made a sudden switch to the inner lane, cutting off a vehicle in front. It then again made a sudden switch to the outer lane, causing a near collision with the same vehicle on the outer lane.

The Lexus again switched back to the inner lane, nearly hitting the front of a pickup truck.

Pangelinan followed Reyes’ car and, with the assistance of other responding police officers, pulled over the vehicle.

Another detective allegedly found in Reyes’ front pocket a small ziplock bag that contained a white crystalline substance that later tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine or “ice.”

Last Oct. 10, police arrested Reyes for alleged possession of “ice and marijuana at a parking lot of a store in San Jose. The case is still pending in court.

Reyes Jr. and another then-employee of the Division of Sports and Recreation were arrested on March 30, 2012, on allegations that they burglarized and stole over $6,000 worth of equipment and other instructional materials from several classrooms and storage rooms at the Garapan Elementary School.

Reyes’ father also served as his third-party custodian in the GES burglary case.

Then-Superior Court Associate Judge Perry B. Inos, however, dismissed the charges against Reyes and co-defendant after the prosecution moved to dismiss the case.

In November 2013, Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo sentenced Reyes to three months in prison for shattering the driver’s side of a car with a baseball bat and assaulting the driver, Derek Reyes, at a stop light on Beach Road, Garapan on Sept. 2, 2012.

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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