It was Judge Govendo, and not Judge Wesley Bogdan as earlier reported, who imposed the $100,000 cash bail on Dela Cruz Monday.
Dela Cruz, through attorney Joey San Nicolas, petitioned the court to reduce bail and release the defendant to a third-party custodian, his common-law wife.
On Tuesday, Judge Govendo reduced Dela Cruz’s bail to $10,000 and ordered him to be released to the third-party custodian upon posting 10% of the bail or $1,000.
The judge also placed Dela Cruz under house arrest, and directed the defendant’s common-law wife to continue bringing him to counseling treatment.
Dela Cruz was ordered to return to court on Oct. 15 at 1:30 p.m. for a preliminary hearing and on Oct. 26 at 9 a.m. for an arraignment before Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja.
Police said Dela Cruz pawned his department-issued handgun to Gordon Castro for $40 cash and $40 worth of methamphetamine or ice.
The handgun was used by Castro in a hostage-taking incident that resulted in his and his girlfriend’s deaths in the early morning hours of March 12, 2020.
The government is charging Dela Cruz with 6 CMC § 10201: Security mortgages, deposits, or pawns with firearms, destructive devices, or ammunition prohibited; loan or rental of firearms, destructive devices, or ammunition prohibited; and 6 CMC § 10601: Firearm Owner’s Identification Card requirement exceptions.
On Feb. 24, 2020, police said Dela Cruz called Michael Jordan Cabrera and asked if he knew anyone interested in buying or trading a chainsaw for ice.
Cabrera told police that he was picked up by Dela Cruz and they went to a poker establishment in Susupe where they met with Castro.
Castro, however, refused to trade meth for the chainsaw.
Cabrera said Dela Cruz then offered his government-issued black 9mm semiautomatic firearm for $40 cash and $40 worth of meth.
Dela Cruz provided his firearm to Castro as “collateral,” Cabrera said.
Police said Dela Cruz does not possess a CNMI-firearms ammunition explosive ID card, nor is he registered to sell, transfer, pawn or loan any firearm or ammunition.
On Feb. 26, 2020, Dela Cruz reported that his firearm was stolen from his vehicle, police said.