The Office of Attorney General filed charges of drug possession and drug trafficking against six individuals in December of 2022.

In December 2022, Vice President Uduch Sengebau-Senior confirmed that they saw a rise in use of drugs in communities and that the Ministry of Justice was working to address the problems.  She revealed that about 15 cases had been referred to the Office of Attorney General for prosecution.

As of December 29, a total of 8 cases have been filed, with earlier reported in this publication.

Of the six cases, two drug trafficking and possession involved marijuana.  Brady Sambal and Wendy Arurang were both charged with Trafficking of Controlled Substances and Possession of Controlled Substances when a raid of their home in Peleliu led to the discovery of over 100 marijuana plants and items normally used to package and sell marijuana. 

Trafficking marijuana is a felony offense with a jail sentence of not more than eight years and a fine of less than $5,000.  Possession of one pound of marijuana is also a felony charge carrying a jail sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $15,000.

Four others were charged with possession and trafficking of methamphetamine, otherwise known as “ice.”

Warren Richard was charged with two counts of Trafficking a Controlled Substance and two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance. 

Two others were charged together with Trafficking and Possession of a Controlled Substance, methamphetamine. Takisang Iyar was charged with two counts of Trafficking and two counts of Possession, while Tarakiei Gino Asanuma was charged with one count of Trafficking and one count of Possession.

The last person charged with Trafficking and Possession of a Controlled Substance in 2022 was Yoshi Aki Okabe.  He was charged with one count of Trafficking “ice” and one count of Possession of “ice.”

Attorney General Ernestine Rengiil reported that the Office of the Attorney General has few attorneys at the moment and is still recruiting more attorneys.  This, she said, is why the filing of cases takes a little longer.

Drug cases dropped down during the border closure but the re-opening of airports and the increase in incoming cargo from all entry points have also resulted in an increase of drugs into the country.

Trafficking of methamphetamine is a felony offense carrying NOT less than 25 years and not more than 50 years and a fine of not less than $50,000 and not more than one million ($1,000,000).

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