Two Customs officers test positive for drugs - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Two Customs officers test positive for drugs

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Random drug testing occurs at various agencies within the government from time to time.  All 125 employees of the Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency recently underwent random drug testing.  But two officers tested positive, raising concerns about whether sensitive information may have been leaked out - putting officers in jeopardy and giving criminals the upper-hand.    

Guam Customs hadn't done random drug testing in nearly a decade.  A few weeks ago, management at the agency decided it was time to make sure officers were staying clean as their mission is to protect Guam's borders and ensure illegal drugs and contraband don't' make it into the island.

Customs Director Colonel Dennis Santos Tomas told KUAM News, "And ports of entry one of them being drugs, so it's important to Chief [Ralph] Sgambelluri and I to make sure that the officers that we employ within the agency that are actually working the frontlines for the island of Guam are themselves not drug users."

But when the results of testing came back, Department of Administration Human Resources Administrator Cecilia Martinez confirms two officers tested positive for drugs.

Col. Santo Tomas confirms one officer was assigned to the Special Enforcement Division and the other was assigned to the Guam International Airport Authority.

Concerns have been raised that the officers had access to law enforcement sensitive information such as when and where search warrants for drugs and contraband would be executed and when officers would schedule searches for flights arriving to Guam giving criminals inside information and putting officers in jeopardy.  "We don't have any information relative to officers that are divulging information. If you want to talk in a general context, certainly that would be a concern of ours, and we constantly remind our officers of the sacredness of the confidentiality of information that is used within our agency as we are a law enforcement agency," Santo Tomas said.

The director could not confirm whether the two individuals were terminated, but could confirm that the officers are no longer employed at the agency.   Chief Sgambelluri added of his officers, "They're held to the highest standard, so in the event that they are positive we have to take the steps in regards to the administrative action to take the administrative action.  And once again, we have to go through the internal affairs."

He also stated, "We think it's a good management tool for us to make sure we employ a professional and drug-free workforce and second of all, it ensures the organization as a whole that you do not have this problem lingering within the organization itself."

Drug testing was also conducted for various positions at the Department of Public Works and DOA confirms that two employees tested positive.  Director Andy Leon Guerrero returned from off-island and still needed to be briefed on the employees who tested positive to determine what action to take.

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