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Two charged with taking sea turtle

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RUSSEL Rekemel Solomon and Jose Machutaro Ichiro Sablan were charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office with conspiracy to unlawfully take an endangered species.

According to court documents, Solomon and Sablan, on June 7, 2020 conspired and agreed to unlawfully take a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), which is an endangered species.

Solomon and Sablan dragged the green sea turtle by a rope tied around its shell across Tank Beach in Kagman village, court documents stated.

The charge included a notice of forfeiture to the U.S. government of any material used for taking or selling of the endangered species. The notice listed two cell phones.

On Aug. 21, 2020, the two defendants appeared  before District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona and entered a not guilty plea.

The judge set the jury trial for Oct. 27, 2020 at 10 a.m.

Because the U.S. government did not request for detention, the judge ordered Solomon and Sablan released on their own personal recognizance with certain conditions.

Attorney David Banes was  appointed by the court to represent Solomon, while Sablan will be represented by attorney Steven Pixley.

At the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Garth Backe represented the federal government.

The charge against the two was previously sealed as  requested by the prosecution.

 

 

 

 

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