Sentencing of suspect in ‘meth’ case OK’d for next year

The federal court granted yesterday a joint request by the prosecution and defense to move the sentencing of David Muña Sablan in connection with the two bags that he left behind in Garapan that contained chemicals and items used in making methamphetamine or “ice.”

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona postponed Sablan’s sentencing to Jan. 18.

Accordingly, Manglona said, the final presentence investigation report shall be filed by the U.S. Probation Office by Jan. 4.

Manglona said the deadline for the parties to file any sentencing memorandum and related materials is also reset to Jan 11.

The original sentencing date is Sept. 7, 2018.

Assistant U.S. attorney Garth R. Backe moved to file a motion under seal because it discusses previously sealed information. Manglona granted the request yesterday.

Last May, Sablan, 38, pleaded guilty to the indictment charging him with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. The offense carries a maximum penalty of not more than a 20-year imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $1 million, supervised release, restitution, and a $100 special penalty assessment.

Janet H. King is the court-appointed counsel for Sablan.

In his admissions, Sablan said that, last March 15, he agreed with at least one other person to manufacture methamphetamine.

Sablan said he obtained items such as lye, lighter fluid, plastic bottles, and tubing at the behest of another person.

The defendant agreed to make methamphetamine for another person by the “shake and bake” method outside Best Poker in Garapan last March 15.

He said as part of their plan, he was supposed to receive some of the “ice” that was produced for his personal consumption and that another person would get the rest to sell to other people.

Sablan admitted that he purchased pseudoephedrine at local pharmacies last Jan. 13 and Jan. 15 twice, and last Jan. 22, for the purpose of making methamphetamine.

Sablan reportedly threw a backpack and a bag that contained chemicals and items used in making “ice” during a police chase in Garapan last March 15.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at

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