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Man arrested on Rota for allegedly growing pot

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Police arrested a 43-year-old man on Rota on Friday for allegedly growing marijuana plants on the island.

Stephen Edwards Albright was taken to the Superior Court on Saipan yesterday morning on charges of possession and trafficking of a controlled substance.

Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio imposed a $30,000 cash bail and set the preliminary hearing for Oct. 22 at 9am.

Kim-Tenorio appointed assistant public defender Michael Sato as counsel for Albright.

Sato noted that police detective Tito S. Hocog II wrote a declaration of probable cause in support of the issuance of a search and arrest warrant. Hocog, however, did not mention what happened after the search was conducted, Sato said.

Assistant attorney general Chester Hinds said Sato can raise that issue during preliminary hearing or through a motion, not during yesterday’s bail hearing.

Kim-Tenorio agreed with the prosecutor.

Hocog stated in his declaration that a cooperating source told him on Oct. 6 that Albright was growing and selling marijuana at his residence in Songsong Village.

Hocog said the source revealed that 25 to 30 marijuana trees were planted in plastic pots behind Albright’s residence and were about four to six feet tall. The source also told the detective that there were approximately 80 to 100 marijuana sprouts in plastic trays behind the house.

The cooperating source added that dried marijuana plants were inside the suspect’s house.

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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