28 Nov 2017
- By Bryan Manabat – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
THE lawyer for Sen Sun, a.k.a. Sam Sun, asked the federal court to modify its previous release order.
Sun was indicted on charges of harboring aliens, unlawfully employing aliens, and money laundering.
The U.S. government said Sun is an overstaying tourist who was operating an unlicensed business that offered tour packages to the commonwealth for pregnant Chinese women seeking to give birth on U.S. soil.
Sun’s court-appointed lawyer Benjamin Petersburg is asking the court to convert the appearance bond to an unsecured bond.
On Nov. 15, 2017, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ordered Sun’s release when he posted a secured bond in the amount of $8,500, among other conditions.
Petersburg said the judge issued the order after the federal prosecutor at the detention hearing informed the court that the defendant had $8,500 in his possession when he was arrested by U.S. agents.
Petersburg said he did not object to the amount of the bond knowing that Sun had the money.
But, he added, the U.S. government converted the cash to a cashier’s check and mailed it off-island for safe keeping.
Petersburg said the U.S. government intends to seek forfeiture of that cash, and so it will not be available for Sun to use as security for his release.
He said the fact that the cash was converted to a cashier’s check and secured off island pending a forfeiture determination was only disclosed to him after the hearing had concluded.
Petersburg said after learning of these circumstances, he sought a stipulation from the U.S. government to amend the conditions of release for Sun based on the misunderstanding at the detention hearing.
But Petersburg said the U.S. government declined and intends to oppose the motion.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/100422-sam-sun-s-lawyer-asks-court-to-modify-release-order