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Ex-Corrections officer in ice case gets 5 years

FORMER Corrections Officer Mariano Quitugua Falig Jr. was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Joseph N. Camacho to five years imprisonment to be served day to day without the possibility of probation, early release, work or weekend release or any other similar program.

But the court did give Falig, 39, credit for time served since his arrest on June 8, 2016.

In his order, the judge said Falig will be eligible for parole after serving the first four years of his sentence. After finding Falig indigent, the court imposed no fine.

On June 14, 2016, Falig was originally charged with two counts of illegal possession of a controlled substance — ice — and one count of unlawful possession of ammunition.

On June 15, 2016 the Office of the Attorney General dismissed one count of illegal possession of a controlled substance. It dismissed the charge of illegal possession of ammunition on Sept. 6, 2016.

According to the factual basis of the plea agreement, on June 7, 2016, Falig intentionally possessed 0.3 gross gram of “ice.”

Judge Camacho said Falig has prior criminal cases in the CNMI and Guam. The judge likewise noted the temporary restraining orders filed by the defendant’s wife who stated that Falig was verbally and emotionally abusive, and had threatened to kill her.

His wife was pregnant at the time and was worried about her safety. The baby passed away during birth.

Falig pled guilty to the charge of threatening a woman and scratching her car with a knife on July 17, 2015 and was sentenced to six months of imprisonment, all suspended for assault, and one year of imprisonment without the possibility of parole for criminal mischief, to be followed by three years of probation after his release from jail.

Falig was still on probation when he was arrested on June 8, 2016 for illegal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of ammunition.

At the sentencing hearing on Jan. 10, 2018, Falig was represented by Assistant Public Defender Nancy Dominski while Assistant Attorney General Chester Hinds appeared for the government.

Hinds recommended a prison sentence of five years while Dominski suggested a sentence of 581 days of time served.

Judge Camacho said Falig is addicted to “ice.”

But to be absolutely clear, the judge added, the “defendant is not being punished because he is an addict. [He] is being punished because he committed a crime of possessing a controlled substance.”

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/101526-ex-corrections-officer-in-ice-case-gets-5-years

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