27 Apr 2017
- By Bryan Manabat – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
A COMMONWEALTH Utilities Corp. safety officer who was stopped at the airport commuter terminal on a flight to Rota for a routine customs inspection was found in possession of methamphetamine or “ice.”
Benjamin Jason Inos Manglona, 37, was arrested and charged with illegal possession and trafficking of a controlled substance.
According to court documents, on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, a Customs enforcement officer conducted a routine K-9 inspection on passengers departing Saipan to Rota at the commuter airport terminal.
The Customs officer said during the routine inspection search, K-9 Ben responded to a passenger identified as Manglona at approximately 3:15 p.m.
Customs officers then instructed Manglona to proceed to the Customs arrival area for further inspection, and advised him that the K-9 had responded to him, and that the dog was trained to respond to the odor of drugs.
At 3:20 p.m., Customs officers asked Manglona if he had any drugs on him. Manglona responded by taking out a small plastic container containing drug paraphernalia — a small glass pipe.
Law enforcement officers also gave Manglona a pat-down search, and inspected his carry-on baggage: a shopping bag, and a backpack.
During the inspection of the backpack, the Customs officers noticed three items wrapped in tissue. Further inspection revealed three small Ziploc bags containing a white crystalline substance that later tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine.
The Customs officers then called the Drug Enforcement Task Force for further investigation.
A DETF investigator said the substance weighed 13 grams. It was transported to the Drug Enforcement Agency Saipan Post of Duty for storage and safe keeping.
On Wednesday, Manglona appeared before Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio for a bail hearing and was represented by Assistant Public Defender Cindy Nesbit while Assistant Attorney Generla Chester Hinds appeared for the government.
Manglona’s bail was set at $100,000 and his next court appearance was scheduled for May 2, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 220A.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/94815-cuc-safety-officer-arrested-for-ice-possession