Probationer says he can’t stop using ‘ice’ once he gets started


The U.S. Probation Office wants the probation of Francisco Nakatsukasa Basa revoked after he tested positive for illegal controlled substances more than thrice in just one year.

U.S. probation officer Gregory F. Arriola informed the U.S. District Court for the NMI yesterday that Basa admitted last June 4 and Tuesday that he used methamphetamine or “ice” again, and that he finds it difficult to stop using methamphetamine once he gets started.

In his declaration in support of a petition for revocation, Arriola said he told Basa to report to his office last June 4 for a random drug test. He said Basa acknowledged the instruction but failed to report at the designated time. An hour later, Basa called Arriola, allegedly admitting that he had “relapsed” and used “ice” the night before.

Arriola said the probationer stated that his pending court matter was one of the driving factors behind his drug use. He said he instructed Basa to stop further drug use and to avoid going to high-risk areas.

Arriola said Basa was instructed Tuesday to report to his office for another random drug test. Arriola said Basa stated that he may still be positive from his previous “ice” use. The probation officer said he informed Basa that the substance from his last reported use should no longer be in his system.

He said Basa eventually admitted that he used “ice” two days earlier and that he was having a hard time stopping.

With the shutdown of the Hinemlu O’hala Para Enteramenti Recovery Center, or the HOPE Recovery Center, due to COVID-19 pandemic, Basa, who was among the occupants of the facility, went back to home last March and allegedly used methamphetamine and consumed an alcoholic beverage.

Arriola informed the court last April that Basa violated the conditions of his probation.

Arriola said that he received a call last March 29 from HOPE Recovery Center drug counselor Doreen Kintol that due to the current coronavirus pandemic, their facility was temporarily shutting down until further notice. This meant that the occupants of the HOPE Recovery Center, which included Basa, would be discharged from the facility, Arriola said. Later that evening, Arriola said, he received a call from Basa who shared the information given by Kintol and related that he was moving back to his home in Afetnas the following day. He said Basa also admitted that prior to their phone conversation, he was subjected to a random drug test and tested positive for methamphetamine.

The probation officer said that he received a call from Basa’s wife last March 31, advising him that Basa was drinking alcohol. Arriola said that when he spoke and confronted Basa about the information, Basa admitted he had consumed five cans of beer to help him relax after a long day of doing outside house chores.

Arriola stated that he was working at that time to refer Basa to another treatment vendor for substance abuse treatment since services.

Last Feb. 4, Arriola also informed the court that Basa admitted using methamphetamine last Jan. 12. Basa appeared in court last Feb. 19 and admitted to the allegation.

According to court records, in 2006 the District Court sentenced Basa to four years and six months in prison for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams of methamphetamine. He was placed on probation after completing the prison term. The court had revoked Basa’s supervised release several times in the past mainly due to using methamphetamine or “ice.”

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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