Man admits group ‘cooked’ meth

Sidney Capelle Kani, one of four men indicted in federal court in connection with an alleged meth lab on Saipan, has confessed that their group indeed “cooked” meth or “ice.”

Kani pleaded guilty yesterday to the indictment charging him with 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.

Kani will be sentenced on Aug. 24, 2018.

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—conspired to manufacture and distribute meth.

Kani said 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.

Kani said he, along with Cabrera, Repeki and Omar, obtained items such as pseudoephedrine, lithium batteries, cold packs, iodized salt, lye, lighter fluid, plastic water bottles, and/or coffee filters, to use to make meth.

He said they would smoke the meth, as well as sell and/or give to other people.

Kani said that, between Jan. 1, 2018, and Feb. 25, 2018, members of the group or persons working at their behest, purchased at least 24,000mg of pseudoephedrine from local pharmacies, which were eventually manufactured into at least five grams of actual meth.

Kani said that last Feb. 1, he received a call from a person who, unknown to him, was working as a confidential source of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

That day, the confidential source picked him up from his house and they drove to Repeki’s house to obtain meth. He said when they arrived at Repeki’s house, the meth was not ready and that the confidential source waited in the car until the meth was “cooked.”

“At one point, I asked the [confidential source] to go purchase table salt for the manufacturing process,” Kani said.

When the meth was finally done, Kani said, he, along with Repeki and his small child who lives in the premises, got into a silver Toyota Camry. He said they backed down the driveway until they were next to the confidential source’s vehicle.

“I got out of the car Repeki was driving and handed the methamphetamine to the [confidential source], who gave me $140 in return,” Kani said.

The DEA later tested the meth sold to the confidential source and results showed it had a net weight of approximately .41 gram, with a 46 percent purity level (or .18 gram of pure methamphetamine).

Last May 4, Omar pleaded guilty to the same charges.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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