Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 21 Sep 2017 12am

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    Wednesday, September 20, 2017-4:17:18P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Judge finds probable cause in copper-wire-theft case

SUPERIOR Court Judge Joseph Camacho on Monday found probable cause to charge two men arrested for stealing 39 feet of copper wire worth $1,018 from the Imperial Pacific International storage compound in Lower Base.

The judge said there is probable cause to charge Mario Olopai Sablan, 40, and Frank Vincent Tudela Pangelinan, 40, for conspiracy to commit theft, and theft.

During a preliminary hearing on Monday, the court heard the testimony of the lead detective in the case.

In his order, Judge Camacho also dismissed without prejudice the charge of attempted theft as it is already included as a lesser offense in the charges against the defendants.

Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Wilberscheid appeared for the government, Matthew Gregory appeared as the court-appointed counsel for Sablan while Assistant Public Defender Cindy Nesbit appeared for Pangelinan.

The defendants, through their counsels, waived any conflict of interest regarding IPI.

Sablan and Pangelinan were remanded to the custody of the Department of Corrections after the court proceedings.

Their arraignment is set for July 24 at 9 a.m. before Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja in Courtroom 202A.

According to court documents, Sablan and Pangelinan, on or about May 3, agreed with one another to engage in an act of theft. They drove to fenced property belonging IPI where they intended to steal copper wire. Sablan and Pangelinan unlawfully took wire belonging to IPI from the company’s fenced property, the court documents added.

An IPI employee, however, saw Sablan pulling copper wire through the chain link fence surrounding the IPI storage compound while Pangelinan stood as a lookout.

Police said a third suspect ran away and has yet to be identified.