Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 19 May 2018 12pm







    Sunday, May 20, 2018-1:57:18A.M.






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Yang Kang Chen gets 15 months in ice case

YANG Kang Chen, also known as Akam, Ah-kong or Ken, pled guilty to distribution of a controlled substance, ice, and was sentenced by the federal court to serve 15 months in jail.

District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona recommended that Chen serve the duration of his prison term at the CNMI Department of Corrections.

Upon his release from prison, the judge added, Chen must report immediately to an immigration official for deportation proceedings.

During the sentencing proceedings, Assistant U.S. States Attorney Garth Backe appeared on behalf of the U.S. government while Benjamin Petersburg appeared as defense counsel for Chen on behalf of court-appointed counsel Bruce Berline.

Hua “Mike” Yang, an interpreter, was also present as well as Gregory Arriola of the U.S. Probation Office.

The court asked Chen’s counsel if he had reviewed the presentence investigation report with his client. Petersburg stated that he had and all issues were resolved.

The prosecutor had no objections to the presentence report.

There being no factual objections to it, the court adopted the amended final pre-sentence report, and ordered the court clerk to file the report and the addendum under seal. The report and addendum will be made available if the judgment is appealed.

The court also placed the probation office’s recommendation under seal.

Chen’s plea agreement proceedings were held on Jan. 27, 2017, but the record was sealed.

Chen, through his counsel Bruce Berline, and the Office of the United States Attorney, have asked the court to unseal the plea agreement records, with both parties saying that it is no longer necessary to maintain these documents under seal.

According to the plea agreement, Chen admitted to intentionally distributing a controlled substance on May 17, 2016. Specifically, he sold 6.6 grams of 98 percent pure methamphetamine hydrochloride to an individual working as a confidential source for the Drug Enforcement Administration.