Meth supplier ring case heard in court - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Meth supplier ring case heard in court

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - He's accused of being one of two main people from Las Vegas, Nevada supplying meth to co-defendants in Guam.

As we reported Eder Cortez-Zelaya and Fransisco Arias are charged  in a major drug ring with ten Guam residents David and Brian Quinata, Joseph Mansapit, Johnny Quenga, Ken Nangauta, Corinna and Lawrence Concepcion, Florentina P. Depamaylo, Joshua E. Moye, and Richard J. Borja. Together the 12 have been charged with conspiring to bring in large quantities of crystal methamphetamine from Las Vegas between 2010 and March of this year.

In court today Attorney Mike Phillips was granted his request to withdraw from representing Cortez-Zelaya. During the hearing Phillips explained  that he was a close family friend of the Concepcions.  The defendant is expected to return to court once it can find a new lawyer.

Meanwhile he wasn't named as part of the 12 but Anthony John Cruz Santos entered a plea agreement with the feds and implicated two of the defendants in the drug case, namely Corina and Lawrence Concepcion.

Santos in the District Court today officially entered his plea and was released on conditions including electronic monitoring. We should add he is also being held on local charges and is set to appear in the Superior Court on April 30th.

Santos as we reported admitted he lived with the Concepcions and sold crystal meth for them.  He also confessed that on at least four occasions he took Lawrence to the post office to pick up meth that had been sent from Eder Cortez Zelaya and Francisco Arias in Nevada.

Adding to that story, another person linked to members of the big 12 has signed a plea agreement with the feds.

Joe Davy Benavente has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute five grams of meth, which carries jail time of more than 40 years, and mandatory minimum of five, as well as a $5 million fine.  According to the plea agreement Benavente is linked to co-defendants and brothers Brian and David Quinata. In January 2012 Benavente says he was approached by Brian to repair his motorcycle. Brian said his brother David who goes by "Derf" would pay for the repairs. Court document say David did so in cash and methamphetamines.  Benavente would then repair several more motorcycles for Derf in exchange for drugs. Court documents further state that Derf would give Benanvete cash to send via Western Union to defendant Eder Zelaya in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Benavente would send nine payments of $5,000 between May and June of 2012.  He confessed to the feds that he knew the money was from drug proceeds. In return Derf gave Benavente meth. The documents add that Eder Zelaya and Francisco Arias supplied Derf with methamphetamines to sell in Guam. 

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