Suspended sentence for theft of ‘branches of bananas’


A habitual offender who is charged with conspiring with another to steal “branches of bananas” pleaded guilty yesterday and was slapped with a suspended sentence.

Hilario Teigita Angui, 35, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit theft.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho sentenced Angui to 30 days imprisonment, all suspended. Angui was given credit no credit for time served. He was required to pay restitution to the victim, Miguel Fleming, for the unrecovered bananas.

Saipan Tribune learned that by “branches of bananas,” the government was referring to the banana fruit.

Angui shall be jointly liable for the restitution with his co-defendant, Jonathan Babauta Ayuyu, if Ayuyu is convicted in the case.

Angui was ordered to pay a $100 fine, court costs, and probation fees. During his probation, he will be required to stay at least 500 feet away from Fleming’s farm.

Following his release from the Department of Corrections in connection with a previous criminal case, Angui will be placed on supervised probation for one year, to run concurrently with his probation in the previous criminal case.

The supervised probation in this case will expire on Nov. 28, 2019.

Camacho noted that Angui has prior convictions in four criminal cases from 2007 to 2017.

According to the factual basis of the plea agreement, on Dec. 14 and 16, 2016 on Saipan, Angui drove Ayuyu to the farm of Fleming, where Ayuyu cut down and carried off bananas having a value of less than $250.

Michael Dotts is the court-appointed counsel for Angui. Assistant attorney general Jonathan Wilberschied appeared for the government.

The bench trial of Ayuyu will be on July 2.

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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