Man charged with illegal possession of firearm pleads not guilty


A man indicted for allegedly possessing a firearm illegally has pleaded not guilty before the U.S. District Court for the NMI.

MD Ikbal appeared before U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather Kennedy last week for his initial appearance, during which Ikbal, an illegal alien, pleaded not guilty to the charge of illegal alien in possession of a firearm.

Kennedy scheduled Ikbal for a detention hearing today, July 19, at 3:30pm, and his jury trial has been set for Sept. 12 at 10am.

Ikbal’s court-appointed attorney, David Banes, waived the reading of the charge against his client and the reading of his rights.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Albert Flores Jr. appeared for the federal government.

According to court documents, Ikbal was arrested back in June 13, pursuant to a warrant signed by the court for one count of illegal alien in possession of a firearm.

However, the defendant was only indicted by a grand jury last June 28.

“Ikbal, on or about May 5, 2022, then being an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States, did unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly possess a firearm, to wit, a .40 caliber handgun, Glock model 22, serial number WHZ254, in and affecting interstate commerce,” the indictment stated.

In addition, the indictment stated that upon conviction, Ikbal must forfeit any firearm he possesses.
“He shall forfeit to the United States, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(d) and Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461(c): any firearms and ammunition involved in the commission of the offense, including, but not limited to the .40 caliber, model Glock 22 handgun, serial number WHZ254,” court documents state.

It was learned that Ikbal has pending criminal charges in the CNMI Superior Court and a bench warrant has been issued against him.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores 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
Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.