Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 19 Oct 2019 12am







    Friday, October 18, 2019-10:56:40A.M.






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Drug defendant to plead guilty

JOANNE Marie Deleon Guerrero Castro, who was arrested for possessing prescription nasal decongestant that contained the ingredient pseudoephedrine, a chemical commonly used to make methamphetamine or “ice,” will plead guilty to the charge.

This was disclosed on Tuesday’s at a pre-trial conference by Castro’s court-appointed attorney Robert T. Torres. Assistant U.S. Attorney Garth Backe appeared for the federal government.

Torres informed the federal court that a plea agreement has been signed and is now with the U.S. government.

District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona said the plea agreement will remain under seal. “Should the plea agreement be accepted, the court will then vacate the scheduled jury trial,” she added.

Judge Manglona has set the trial date for July 2, 2019 at 10 a.m.

The judge ordered Castro to return to court on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 9 a.m. for a change of plea hearing.

The grand jury issued an indictment charging Castro with one count of conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine, “a listed chemical, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine.”

The indictment added that Castro conspired with others intentionally and knowingly between Aug. 12, 2017 through Jan. 25, 2018 to possess pseudoephedrine.

A notice of criminal forfeiture has been served against Castro. If convicted, Castro will forfeit to the U.S. government all properties and money proceeds obtained through the commission of the crime.

Castro is currently on a pre-trial release condition and was required to submit to the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office.

She was one of the individuals flagged by a pharmacy and reported to the Drug Enforcement Administration for her “curious pattern of buying cold medicine that contained pseudoephedrine.”