SAIPAN, CNMI – SHAWN N. ANDERSON, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, announced that on January 3, 2020, Cling Philip Kaipat, also known as “Gilbert Kaipat,” was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 46 months imprisonment for Possession of a Stolen Firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(j). Kaipat was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his term in prison. He must also perform 50 hours of community service, unless he is gainfully employed during his release.
On November 5, 2015, Kaipat burglarized a home on Saipan. During the course of the crime, he stole a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun, several rounds of ammunition, and other items. C.N.M.I. Department of Public Safety (DPS) investigators obtained surveillance from a nearby grocery store. The footage depicted an individual wearing dark pants and a dark shirt walking in the direction of the residence. DPS canvassed the neighborhood asking residents whether anyone recognized the individual in the surveillance video. Ultimately, someone identified Kaipat as the perpetrator. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) then began a federal investigation.
U.S. Attorney Anderson stated, “The results of this case demonstrate the benefits of our local and federal law enforcement partners working together in addressing dangers to our communities. Federal law prohibits the possession of firearms and ammunition under a variety of circumstances, including where the gun itself is stolen. The Department of Justice will continue to focus resources on these prosecutions in an effort to prevent violent crime.”
This investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with the assistance and cooperation of the C.N.M.I. Department of Public Safety. The case was prosecuted by Garth R. Backe, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of the Northern Mariana Islands.