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Inmate accuses US Marshals of illegal transfer during a pandemic

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FEDERAL inmate Francisco N. Basa accuses the U.S. Marshals Service-Saipan of illegally transferring him and two other inmates to the Guam Department of Corrections from the CNMI Department of Corrections  during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Basa, in a phone interview on Monday, told Variety that the U.S. Marshals “do not care” if they get infected by the coronavirus. “It was a risky transfer,” he added.

Basa said while he was serving time at Corrections on Saipan, he was following the grievance protocol, but his request for medical care — to see a psychiatrist and an ophthalmologist —  was not approved.

Basa said he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, adding that he also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Basa believes that CNMI Corrections officials instructed other Corrections officers not to sign and acknowledge his sick call request forms.

Basa said he was then shipped to Guam in “retaliation” for his grievance.

Recently, Basa and another federal inmate, Edwin P. Blas, who are both incarcerated on Guam, have asked the District Court for the NMI to issue a protective order. They said they fear potential retaliation from the defendants they sued for allegedly violating the inmates’ constitutional rights.

In their handwritten complaint, the inmates named as defendants Don Hall and Alfred Celis of U.S. Marshals Service-Saipan,  CNMI Department of Corrections officials Georgia Cabrera, Jose K. Pangelinan, Maria Aldan, Raymond Mafnas, Vince Attao, an unnamed senator, and an unnamed Saipan food service contractor.

Basa and Blas sued for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In 2006, Basa was sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams of methamphetamine.

He was placed on probation after completing the prison term.

The federal court revoked Basa’s supervised release several times in the past for violating the terms of his probation.

In June 2020, Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona revoked Basa’s supervised release and sentenced him to 11 months’ imprisonment and 18 months’ supervised release. Basa used ice, the probation office said.

As for Blas, he was sentenced by Judge Manglona in July 2018 to 14 months in prison and 27 months of supervised release for violating the terms of his probation. Blas punched his wife while intoxicated, the probation office stated.

A registered sex offender, Blas has previous convictions in both the local and federal courts.

The federal court has not made any ruling on the lawsuit filed by Basa and Blas.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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