by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The U.S. Attorney's Office will not confirm if a federal corruption investigation is underway into the Guam Police Department. Allegations of police officers using and dealing drugs and stealing money were brought up during a hearing in the District Court this afternoon.
The feds are looking to have Attorney Curtis Van De Veld return $30,000 he received in drug proceeds in legal fees. The money was turned over as part of a plea agreement for Van De Veld's former client, Kenrick Gajo, who turned over more than $150,000 in cash to police in exchange for cooperating about drug cohorts and police involved in drug trafficking. Van De Veld contends the money he was paid has been spent and argues the feds have not jurisdiction in this particular matter. "They're trying to use the federal court to avoid the plea agreement that was made in this case because they don't like it, that's really what this is all about," he explained.
"It's a turf war and you can tell that from Ms. [Karon] Johnson's argument, she doesn't like the fact that the local government has authority relative to what they do."
District Court Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan gave the feds until Friday to respond to the arguments presented today. Van De Veld has until next Monday to file a reply brief.