Woman in ‘ice’ making scheme gets over 7-year imprisonment


A woman who pleaded guilty to her involvement in producing methamphetamine or “ice” in the CNMI was sentenced last Tuesday to over seven years in prison.

District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona sentenced Joanne Marie Deleon Guerrero Castro to exactly 87 months in prison.

At her sentencing hearing, Castro, through her counsel, Robert T. Torres, asked for psychiatric and medical care for his client. Manglona granted the request.

Upon release from prison, Castro will submit to a three-year supervised release and comply with other court-ordered conditions.

Castro pleaded guilty on June 20, 2019, to possession of illegal chemicals used for making methamphetamine. She also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess prescription nasal decongestant that contained the ingredient pseudoephedrine, a chemical commonly used to make “ice.”

Castro is one of a handful of other defendants who were flagged by a pharmacy and were reported to the Drug Enforcement Agency for their suspicious pattern of buying cold medicine that contained pseudoephedrine.

Last April 2019, an indictment was filed against Castro.

At the April 26, 2019 hearing, Castro was released with conditions to include that she be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office and Pretrial Services Office and be placed on home detention with no electronic monitoring.

At a change of plea hearing back in June 2019, Castro pleaded guilty to the indictment charging her with one count of conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine, a listed chemical, knowing that it would be used to make methamphetamine through the “shake and bake” method

According to the factual admissions of Castro, she, along with others, conspired between Aug. 12, 2017 and Jan. 25, 2018, to possess pseudoephedrine, a listed chemical, knowing it would be used to make methamphetamine or “ice.”

Castro said she purchased pseudoephedrine 14 times from pharmacies on Saipan for a total of 36,600 milligrams.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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