Man allegedly found with over a pound of ‘ice’ detained until trial

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The U.S. District Court for the NMI has granted the government’s request to detain until his trial a man who is accused of harboring over one pound of methamphetamine or “ice” at the Hyatt Regency Saipan.

Following a preliminary hearing yesterday, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona found probable cause to try Qui Shou, also known as Ike, for one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance (methamphetamine), and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The judge remanded Qui back to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and also granted the government’s motion for detention pending trial.

Manglona ordered Qiu be brought back to court for an arraignment on Tuesday, Feb. 1, at 11am.

During the hearing yesterday, the court heard testimony from Michael Pangelinan, an NMI Drug Enforcement Task Force officer.

Qiu was represented by attorneys Robert Torres and Charity Hodson while Garth Backe appeared in behalf of the U.S. government.

Over a week ago, over 1.6 lbs of methamphetamine was uncovered in two rooms at the Hyatt Regency Saipan that was being rented out by Qui for the past six months.

Aside from the large quantity of meth found in his room, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also found two handguns with ammunition, a large amount of cash, over 4,000 small Ziplock baggies, and a few glass pipes with residue that tested positive for methamphetamine.

According to court documents, DEA special agent Kirk F. Johns said that a room on the sixth floor of Hyatt Regency Saipan had been under surveillance for the past few months before they executed the search warrant on Jan. 12, 2022.

Qui, through an interpreter, told the agents that all the illegal items found in the rooms are his and that his female companion and his father had nothing to do with them.

Qui said he was mainly supplied by two people who would give him between 100 grams and 500 grams, depending on his sales.

In regards to the handguns, Qui said they were given to him by one of his suppliers for protection.

Kimberly B. Esmores | 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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