Yamagishi OK’d for release but with strict conditions


U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather Kennedy yesterday ordered the pre-trial release of former U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer Bob Hajime Deleon Guerrero Yamagishi—but with strict conditions.

Yamagishi was indicted on 37 counts of wire fraud and was arrested last week.

Kennedy required Yamagishi to submit to substance abuse testing, observe a 6pm to 9am curfew, no consumption and possession of alcohol and controlled substance, no possession of a gun, and to stay away from gambling or poker places.

The magistrate judge also granted U.S. Probation officer Margarita Wonenberg’s recommendation to install a location-monitoring device to check Yamagishi’s movement.

Kennedy also required Yamagishi, among other conditions, to refrain from having contact with his cousin, who is allegedly a bad influence to him.

Kennedy noted that the prosecution originally asked for Yamagishi’s continued detention pending trial but later agreed for pre-trial release subject to conditions because of issues of gambling and methamphetamine addiction.

The judge said the best for Yamagishi is supervised release pending trial so he can undergo drug treatment.

“You have to take that seriously,” Kennedy told the defendant.

The judge reminded Yamagishi that if he violates the conditions, he will be arrested again and possibly face other charges.

Assistant U.S. attorney Russell Lorfing appeared for the U.S. government, Attorney Janet H. King is court-appointed counsel for Yamagishi.

The trial will begin on Aug. 3, 2015.

According to the indictment, between July 5 and Aug. 20, 2014, Yamagishi, while a CBP officer, allegedly used his travel cash card in two stores on Saipan to obtain cash or other property and then used the cash to gamble or buy drugs.

CBP Internal Affairs special agent Brian Kawabata stated that Yamagish is suicidal, hooked on gambling, can’t control his addiction to “ice,” and even attempted to become a drug supplier.

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

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