Ice defendant gets 3 years

JIALIANG Chen, also known as “Brother,” was sentenced by Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio to three years of imprisonment for illegal possession of a controlled substance — ice.

Chen, who pled guilty to the charge on April 4, 2017, was given credit for the 530 days he had served in jail and will serve the rest of his sentence day for day without the possibility of parole.

Chen, 26, will also pay a fine of $2,000.

According to court documents, he first arrived in the CNMI in Aug. 2016 to work as a tour guide, but the job turned out to be a scam and he was left stranded on island without money to return to China.

Chen’s counsel, Assistant Public Defender Nancy Dominski,   recommended a sentence of time served. She said Chen is remorseful about his actions and the harm he caused to the community.

His crime was non-violent and did not involve the use of force or weapons, and Chen has no known criminal history, Dominski said.

 Assistant Attorney General Chester Hinds, who appeared for the government, recommended that Chen be sentenced to five years imprisonment.

The prosecution said Chen unlawfully possessed 1.6 grams of crystal methamphetamine or “ice” when members of the Drug Enforcement Task Force conducted a controlled buy on Nov. 15, 2016.

In her order, Judge Kim-Tenorio said the nature of the crime is troubling. “The defendant, through his actions, contributed to the drug epidemic that has befallen the commonwealth and destroyed many lives and families,” the judge said, adding that the defendant’s “reported remorse does not ameliorate the damage he has done by his actions.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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