Five Arrested in Saipan on Drug and Weapons Conspiracy Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 17, 2009|
SAIPAN, NMI—LEONARDO M. RAPADAS, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and NMI, together with Timothy J. Landrum, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Robert R. Champion, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Charlene B. Thornton, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced the arrests of DEXTER MARATITA, DAMIEN PUA, JULITA SABLAN, INOS GERMINARO, and ROQUE NORITA. The arrests, based on complaints filed by the DEA and ATF, are the result of an 18-month-long Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation by Federal law enforcement agencies including the DEA, ATF, FBI, United States Marshals Service (USMS), and the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The arrests were made without incident in pre-dawn operations this morning by an ATF Special Response Team.
ROQUE NORITA, INOS GERMINARO, and JULITA SABLAN were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
DAMIEN PUA was charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person for selling a Colt .357 revolver to a cooperating source working with the DEA and ATF, while being a convicted felon.
DEXTER ULLOA MARATITA was charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person for selling a Colt .25 caliber handgun to a cooperating source working with the DEA and ATF, while being a convicted felon.
U.S. Attorney Rapadas praised the aggressive enforcement work of the Federal law enforcement agencies that investigated these cases. “It is one of the Department of Justice’s top priorities to get dangerous drugs and illegal guns off the streets,” said Rapadas. “The investigative work of the federal agents who worked on these cases for the past 18 months has been outstanding.” Rapadas indicated that this investigation continues.
ATF Special Agent in Charge Robert R. Champion stated “This investigation is a true example of how U.S. law enforcement agencies working together will enforce U.S. laws, however remote the location may be.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Landrum said, “For too long, these drug dealers have poisoned our streets and put fear into innocent people across our communities. These arrests dismantle this drug mob and should significantly impact drugrelated crime in the communities where these organizations operated. DEA, along with our federal, state and local partners will continue to pursue and attack criminal organizations that wreak havoc on our streets and intimidate local residents.”
FBI Honolulu Special Agent Tom Simon said “We hope that today’s arrests will go a long way toward making Saipan a safer place to live and work. As this is a continuing investigation, if you have information to provide regarding the criminal activity alleged in today’s arrests, please call your local FBI office.”
Members of the public are reminded that complaints are only accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.