Surrendered cash may have been stolen - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Surrendered cash may have been stolen

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - An investigation is underway to determine whether money that was surrendered by Kenrick Gajo was stolen between the time it was in police custody as evidence and it was deposited at the Department of Administration.  According to an affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Frank Runles, $147,567 was counted by four police officers and that number was indicated on the evidence custody receipt. 

Court documents indicate that Officer Frank M. Santos turned the money over to John Taitano at the GPD Property Control Unit and that Taitano carried the money to DOA and presented it for deposit.  DOA documents, however, show that only $137,667 was deposited.  A few days later, Special Agent Runles noted that it appeared that a recount was conducted and an additional $20 bill was found in the monies presented by Officer Santos for deposit.

As first reported, GPD conducted two controlled buys where informants purchased a half-gram of crystal methamphetamine from Gajo, who allegedly sold the drugs from his Gajo & Sons Auto Body Shop in Barrigada Heights.  When police were going to execute a search warrant at the shop back in January, Gajo retained Attorney Curtis Van De Veld and agreed to cooperate with authorities. 

Gajo entered into a plea agreement with Assistant Attorney General Phil Tydingco, who agreed to give him immunity and no jail time in exchange for his cooperation to give up drug sources and cohorts as well as information he claimed he had about a 1998 murder of a woman who was found dead near Route 15. 

KUAM archives show 34-year-old Florence Dimla Schaller was found badly burnt inside a vehicle that was set on fire in a quiet neighborhood in Mangilao.

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