Sources: Torres hires NY lawyer Smith as counsel

Manglona appoints Hawaii magistrate judge to handle 2 warrant application matters
Posted on Jan 23 2020


Patrick J. Smith

Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres has hired Patrick J. Smith, a former federal prosecutor in the CNMI who has been named a New York super lawyer, as his counsel related to the ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe against him and several others, Saipan Tribune learned from multiple sources.

Smith is currently with the New York City-based law firm Smith Villazor LLP, which he co-founded. He served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. District Court for the NMI and Guam from 2002 to 2005.

Smith used to be partner with the law firm DLP Piper, a global law firm that reportedly has 4,200 lawyers in more than 30 countries throughout the America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East.

Another source also disclosed that Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC legal counsel Viola Alepuyo has consulted Robert T. Torres in connection with the FBI probe.

A separate source said U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona appointed Hawaii Magistrate Judge Wes Reber Porter to handle two warrant application matters where she has a conflict.

Sources said the FBI’s investigation is still continuing and that there are a lot of subpoenas returnable on Jan. 30, 2020.

Sources said there will also likely be issues with the documents produced and there may be court hearings to determine if more documents must be produced.

Smith received the U.S. Department of Justice’s Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service and is a two-time recipient of the Director’s Award for Superior Court Performance as an assistant U.S. attorney.

After an 11-year stint with DOJ, Smith re-entered private practice in 2005.

In January 2015, Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino hired Smith to assist local attorney Bruce Berline in the criminal case filed against the company by the U.S. government over its failure to file transaction reports, among other charges.

Last Nov. 7 and 8, the FBI seized documents, records, and property in its search for evidence of violations of federal laws by Torres, the governor’s three brothers—Vincent, Victorino, and Joaquin, Alfred Chi-Yan Yue, and Ron Li Anderson.

Offices searched include Torres’ on Capital Hill and IPI’s accounting office at Marina Heights Office Park Building in Puerto Rico, Saipan.

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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