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Most defendants released, but monitored electronically

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - A major drug ring that's been operating on Guam for at least four years has been dismantled and a dozen people have been charged in federal court. The drug conspiracy resulted in more than a quarter of million dollars worth of crystal methamphetamine being shipped from Nevada to Guam.

Twelve people are named in a federal indictment that was unsealed in the District Court on Monday.  Francisco C. Arias, Eder J.Cortez-Zelaya, David G. Quinata, Brian G. Quinata, Joseph S.N. Mansapit, Johnny J.S. Quenga, Ken J. Nangauta, Corinna M. Concepcion, Lawrence P. Concepcion, Florentina P. Depamaylo, Joshua E. Moye, and Richard J. Borja are accused of conspiring to bring in large quantities of crystal methamphetamine from Las Vegas, Nevada to Guam between 2010 and March of this year.

Arias and Cortez-Zelaya allegedly got paid large sums of money for supplying methamphetamine to their co-conspirators either by Western Union wire transfers, cash deposits into Cortez-Zelaya's personal account or cash sent from Guam to the two.  The indictment spells out three different groups that allegedly participated in the drug distribution conspiracy.

The Norman Concepcion Group allegedly began when he met Arias through his nephew in 2009 or 2010.  Norman Concepcion's nephew owed Arias money for methamphetamine he sold to his nephew on consignment.  He agreed to sell the drug ice for Arias in order to reduce his nephew's drug debt and allegedly wired money in exchange for large quantities of drugs that were sent from Vegas to various addresses on Guam.

David G. Quinata (aka Dirf) allegedly acted as a middleman between Cortez-Zelaya and other people on Guam who wanted to buy meth including Joseph S.N. Mansapit and Fernando Barcinas.  Quinata allegedly received up to 10 grams of the drug ice from people in Guam for facilitating the acquisition of the drugs.   He is accused of having Brian G. Quinata, Mansapit, Johnny J.S. Quenga, and Ken J. Nangauta and Joe Davy Benavente transfer money and cash into Cortez-Zelaya's bank account in order to pay for the meth that would be supplied to him. Daniel Quinata allegedly paid $100,000 for meth that Arias and Cortez-Zelaya supplied to him while Brian Quinata allegedly paid $40,100 for drugs.  Mansapit allegedly deposited $9,000.   From November 2012 on, mail packages were sent from Nevada to Guam containing large quantities of methamphetamine.

Corinna M. Concepcion is named as having purchased the drug ice from Arias and Cortez-Zelaya.  Court documents state that Concepcion contacted the two and had family and friends receive the packages and allegedly paid for the drugs personally or through other people.  Anthony J. Santos, who lived with Corinna and her husband Lawrence P. Concepcion, is accused of selling plates of the drugs and agreed to have packages of meth sent to him on Guam.  Santos received more than 170 grams of meth in December 2012 from Arias and Cortez-Zelaya that was intended for Corinna Concepcion.  Another 100 grams was shipped to Joshua E. Moye that was intended for her as well.  In March of last year, a package containing 55 grams of meth was sent to Floren Deplamayo but was intended for Corinna as well.

Richard Borja allegedly received more than 44 grams of the drug ice on two occasions.

All of the defendants except for Cortez-Zelaya and Arias were arrested on Guam and appeared in court today pleading not guilty to the federal charges.  Borja's court appointed attorney withdrew from the case due to a conflict so he will have to return for an arraignment later this week.   With the exception of David and Brian Quinata, all of the other defendants were released from custody but were ordered to be on electronic monitoring.

The federal government is also seeking a money judgment from each of the defendants representing the amount of proceeds obtained as a result of the conspiracy to distribute meth. Trial is set to begin on May 29. 

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