Arnold Buck, a 57-year old Palauan male, serving the longest prison sentence given for drug related crimes, died this past weekend of medical complications at the Belau National Hospital.
According to sources, Mr. Buck had medical issues and had undergone surgery. He was in the hospital for the past three weeks when he passed away due to medical complications.
Mr. Buck is the first person to be given the longest prison term for drug trafficking. His crimes include multiple charges of drug trafficking and drug possession. Charges came about as result of testimonies of Confidential Informants that purchased methamphetamine from him while under police surveillance.
Appealing his two convictions, Mr. Buck cited his Rights to Due Process were violated. In his appeal, Buck argued that the compensation of one of the CI’s was not revealed before the trial and it violated his right to due process. In his appeal, he argued that had he known earlier how much compensation CI was receiving for his testimony, it could have changed his defense. One of the CI’s testimony was the key testimony in the charges against Mr. Buck. The Appellate court affirmed part of his convictions, vacated his sentence and remanded his second case back to lower court.
Buck was still serving his 57-year sentence when he passed away of medical complications.
Arnold Buck is the uncle of Larry Hillbroom Jr., a Hillbloom heir who was also convicted on a number drug trafficking charges and released by the courts here to avail of the drug rehabilitation programs in the United States, upon his request.
Mr. Buck is an articulate writer and submits his opinions to this paper once in a while presenting his point of view. (See his last letter to this editor on this issue.)