Young cop arrested for allegedly extorting money from motorist

Cop allegedly handcuffed woman for traffic violation, asked to have sex with him

A young police officer was arrested in Dandan on Friday night for allegedly pulling over a vehicle operated by a Chinese woman for a traffic violation and threatening to put her in jail if she would not have sex with him or pay him $300 cash last month.

Police Officer 1 Travis Anthony Dela Cruz Iglecias, 24, was served with an arrest warrant on charges of theft by extortion, bribery, and misconduct in public office.

Saipan Tribune learned that Iglecias resigned from the Department of Public Safety last Wednesday.

According to Attorney General Investigation Division investigator Vicente B. Babauta, during his interview last Oct. 5, Iglecias confessed to the allegations and admitted that what he did was wrong.

Babauta said the victim was still traumatized with the incident when she went to the Office of the Attorney Criminal Division last Sept. 26 and later filed a complaint with the AGID against Iglecias.

At a hearing yesterday, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho maintained the $50,000 cash bail that Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio imposed in issuing the arrest warrant.

Camacho set the preliminary hearing for Oct. 25 at 1:30pm.

Assistant public defender Michael Sato was appointed as counsel for Iglecias. Assistant attorney general Chester Hinds appeared for the government.

AGID investigator Babauta stated in his report that the victim was driving her Toyota 4-Runner on her way to the Francisco C. Ada-Saipan International Airport when Iglecias pulled her over for a traffic violation by the Mobil Gas Station in Chalan Kiya last Sept. 25 at 11:30pm.

Babauta said Iglecias informed the woman of her violation, immediately handcuffed her, and secured her in the back seat of the police car.

Iglecias allegedly told the woman that she was going to jail and that she has to pay $700-$800 for the traffic citation.

Babauta said instead of transporting the woman to the Department of Corrections, Iglecias drove her to her house in Gualo Rai.

Investigator Babauta said according to Iglecias, prior to driving the woman to her house, she told the officer that her children were home and nobody was watching them.

Babauta said Iglecias confessed that he already planned to release the woman if she wanted to have sex with him or make extra cash from her by threatening her with charges for leaving her children alone at the house.

Babauta said prior to leaving the Mobil Gas Station with the woman, Iglecias called DPS Central dispatcher by phone to disregard all transmittal from him on the traffic violator stop.

Iglecias instructed the dispatcher to erase or white out all the transmittal on the transmittal log sheet and to move the case number to the next complaint.

Babauta said Iglecias did not use his DPS-issued hand-held radio to disregard the case because he didn’t want anybody to know that he was disregarding the woman’s arrest.

Iglecias allegedly did not call in the mileage on the police car prior to taking the woman to her house in Gualo Rai.

Babauta said Iglecias stated that he drove the woman to her house and upon entering the driveway, he turned off all the head lights of the police car to avoid getting attention from the neighbors.

At the house, Iglecias allegedly told the woman that if she had sex with him or gave him massage he will release her and she does not have to go to jail.

When she refused to have sex, Iglecias allegedly told her to pay him instead $300 and that he would make the $700-$800 traffic citation go away.

After the woman paid $300, Iglecias released her from custody at the residence. The officer then went straight to San Jose Mart where he bought cigarettes.

Babauta said a surveillance video from the Mobil Gas Station confirmed that a police vehicle indeed pulled over the victim’s 4-Runner at the station on Sept. 25 at 11:30pm.

Babauta said a gas attendant confirmed that the officer in the video was Iglecias, who is their regular customer.

Babauta said the victim identified Iglecias in the photo lineup showed to her.

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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