Lawmen uncover alleged meth dispensary

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The Department of Public Safety’s Drug Enforcement Task Force uncovered a crystal meth dispensary in Chinatown over the weekend where they seized nearly $9,000 worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride, drug paraphernalia, digital scales, and packaging material.

According to a Department of Public Safety statement, the CNMI Drug Enforcement Task Force executed a search warrant in the early hours of Friday, Feb. 22, at a home in Chinatown, and seized 12.8 gross-grams of methamphetamine that had a value of about $8,960.

Two Chinese men were arrested at the scene.

Ruijun Huang, 46, and Zhao Xin Zhu, 40, have been charged with possession of a controlled substance and trafficking of a controlled substance.

Last Friday, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph Camacho imposed a bail of $100,000 on both men.

Huang is set for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 28 at 1:30 before associate judge Kenneth Govendo.

Huang’s arraignment is scheduled for March 4 at 9am before Presiding Judge Roberto Naraja.

According to court documents, Huang, better known as “Brother,” was reportedly actively distributing “ice” to customers on Saipan and is known to be one of the main sources of methamphetamine. Zhu is reportedly the deliveryman of the controlled substance.

A cooperating defendant assisted law enforcement in conducting a monitored and recorded purchase from Huang.

On Feb. 21 at 9:40am, task force personnel met with the cooperating defendant to prepare for the operation to buy meth from Huang.

At around 9:53am, DETF officers monitored a phone conversation between the cooperating defendant and Huang, where they agreed to meet up at an abandoned car wash area in Garapan. DETF officers handed $1,400 to the cooperating defendant to purchase 2 grams of meth from Huang.

DETF surveillance teams then established a perimeter on and around the abandoned car wash area and equipped the cooperating defendant with an audio transmitting and recording device to be used in the transaction.

At about 10:13am, DETF officers observed a green Toyota Corolla park along the street directly south of the abandoned car wash. The man who exited the car was described as a tall and skinny Asian male dressed in black and was identified later as Huang.

Huang was then seen entering the cooperating defendant car where the transaction was made.

Later, DETF officers met with the cooperating defendant and got from him a small clear plastic baggie that contained a crystalline substance, the recording device, and the $300 that was unused.

The crystalline substance later tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine.

The DETF surveillance teams then followed Huang’s vehicle to a compound in Chinatown where he and Zhu were arrested.

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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