by Mindy Aguon
Guam - District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood issued a warrant of arrest for $30,000 in drug money that was paid to local attorney Curtis Van De Veld. The feds are looking to have that money and the other $137,000 seized from a warrant at Gajo and Sons Auto Shop forfeited.
A plea agreement for Kenrick Gajo was worked out between Van De Veld, who was representing Gajo back in January, and Chief Deputy Attorney General Phil Tydingco. That deal allowed for Van De Veld to be paid $30,000 on the spot. The feds contend that money was derived from drug proceeds and should be forfeited. Van De Veld says the deal was made openly and honestly and that the money was spent already.
A warrant was to be served on the local attorney who will now have to have to file a response to feds' application for the warrant by Friday and then appear in court next Tuesday to explain why he should not be held in contempt for court for failing to turn over the money.
Van De Veld tells KUAM News that he believes the forfeiture laws are "grossly unfair".