Man who got 15-year jail term over ‘ice’ shipment appeals to 9th Circuit



Xi Huang, a man who was recently slapped in federal court with 188 months or 15 years and eight months of imprisonment over the shipment of 4.9 lbs of methamphetamine or “ice” then-worth $850,000, is appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Huang, through new counsel Stephen J. Nutting, has filed a notice of appeal before the U.S. District Court for the NMI.

Nutting said Huang is appealing to the Ninth Circuit from Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona’s sentencing order.

Huang wants the Ninth Circuit to reverse Manglona’s order. No other details were indicated in the notice.

At the sentencing hearing last Aug. 12, Manglona told Huang that his own brother, Biao, committed the same crime in the CNMI less than 10 years ago and was sentenced to 135 months imprisonment.

“That should be a big deterrence to you,” Manglona said.

Huang was given credit for time served in prison. After serving the prison term, he will be placed on supervised release for three years.

After completing the prison term, Huang will be subjected to deportation proceedings. He was ordered to immediately pay a $100 court assessment fee.

Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe, counsel for the U.S. government, recommended 210 months imprisonment or 17.6 years.

Backe said Huang asserted a leadership role in this conspiracy as he was the one who coordinated the delivery of the “ice,” paid for co-defendant, Shicheng Cai’s travel and lodging, took Cai to get a fake CNMI driver’s license in China, and was going to pay Cai $7,000-$8,000 for helping with the plan, among other things.

Attorney Robert T. Torres, then-counsel for Huang, recommended a 10-year prison sentence.

Huang’s case is reportedly the second largest case involving the amount of drugs seized in the CNMI.

Last March, Huang pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

A routine Customs inspection at the Port of Saipan of a 40-foot container from Guangzhou, China, resulted in the discovery of the 4.9 lbs of “ice” hidden in three plastic bags in one of the nine 5-gallon paint containers last Dec. 2.

Joint federal and local enforcers investigated the shipment, resulting in the arrest of Huang and two co-defendants.

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

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