‘Shake-and-bake’ defendant asks for leniency


David Muña Sablan is asking the federal court for leniency in connection with the crime that he committed when he left two bags in Garapan that were found to contain chemicals and items used in making methamphetamine or “ice” through the “shake-and-bake” method.

Sablan, through his lawyer Janet H. King, has asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to sentence him at the lowest end of the sentencing guidelines or even lower.

Sablan’s crime is punishable by a prison sentence between 57 and 71 months.

Sablan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. His sentencing will be on Wednesday at 9am.

King recommended an intensive drug treatment for Sablan, so he can continue to be sober, thus allowing him to enroll so he could obtain his GED, any vocational training, or higher education courses.

King said her client readily admitted his role in this case to a Drug Enforcement Administration.

Sablan, 40, has four children.

King said Sablan’s arrest on March 15, 2018, comes at the end of nearly a decade of drug addiction.

“Mr. Sablan is best remembered by his family and friends as a good person who made bad decisions but, most of all, he is remembered as a talented and passionate basketball player,” the lawyer said.

From his youth, defendant was exposed to rampant drug use by his neighbors, friends, and even family, King said. He was only able to avoid the trouble of the streets by turning to basketball, which he credits as “saving him.”

She said with his dedication to the sport, Sablan was able to make it into the CNMI national team that competed in Palau and Guam.

“…Mr. Sablan was a star on his teams, he was the scoring leader, MVP, and pivotal to their success,” King said.

In his early 20s, Sablan found a love for coaching basketball and helped organize a basketball league for teenagers and young adults in the community.

King said while Sablan was coaching, he made it clear that drugs were unwelcome around the courts and would not let the children smoke even a cigarette.

Near the end of the 2000s, Sablan and his wife’s marriage became strained, King said. Sablan then stopped playing basketball and started associating with troubled people that introduced him to gambling and drugs. He hid his addiction and drifted away from his family and friends.

“Instead of putting his life back together, he was falling further into the influence of addicts and dealers,” she said.

King said Sablan feels that, when he leaves prison, he can use his experience to reach out in the community and that Sablan wants to rebuild his relationship with his children.

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
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.