Allegations of police cover-up persist
by Nick Delgado
Guam - A recent riot at the Royal Garden Condominiums in Tamuning has not only sparked an internal affairs investigation at the Guam Police Department surrounding allegations of a police cover-up, but now the U.S. Navy is cooperating with that investigation as two of its own were arrested in connection with the incident that's raised more than a few eyebrows in the last week.
The Navy is the latest entity to get involved in an investigation of a riot that occurred at Royal Gardens on April 10. Naval Base Guam confirms that two of its sailors, assigned to the Base Security Department, were arrested in connection with the incident and are being investigated by authorities for their role in the riot and the use of a firearm during the altercation. Victor Ibarra and Marcos Martinez were arrested by police Friday night along with William Stinnett III and Kenneth Davo-Roberts and Derin Santos.
The five arrests came just days after police had arrested Joshua Cruz for aggravated assault and possession and use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony for allegedly striking Ibarra with a bat during the fight.
Navy officials confirmed that Martinez is a master-at-arms Seaman while Ibarra is a master-at-arms Petty Officer 2nd Class. Navy security personnel are prohibited from retaining their weapons when off-duty. While it's alleged that Ibarra possibly had a privately-owned firearm that Martinez retrieved sometime during the fight to "de-escalate the situation", KUAM News asked Cruz's attorney, Randy Cunliffe, if he knew whether unconfirmed reports that the gun had been returned were in fact true?
"Unless it was a military weapon it would be unusual that a gun would be returned to someone who accused of using it in a crime," he said.
Cunliffe has alleged there was a cover-up at the Guam Police Department since his client, who was visibly beaten up, was the lone person arrested after the fight until Cruz filed a counter complaint with GPD. "Obviously somebody beat him up. Why they didn't get arrested when they are all related in some way or another to a police officer? It leads one to believe that they didn't arrest anybody else because of who they were. And that smacks of a cover-up," he said.
Cunliffe also said, "Derin Santos is [GPD captain] Kim Santos' daughter, and Will Stinett is her boyfriend, the Ibarra gentlemen is a son-in-law married to Kim Santos' other daughter; the Martinez works with Ibarra at the Naval Station as military police. The other gentlemen, whose name I don't recall, I was told that he is a nephew of Kim Santos."
Cunliffe alleges that Santos' mother, who is the District I commander, was at the scene the night of the incident. And although GPD has said preliminary findings show that the police captain had no involvement in the case, it's a matter Cunliffe wants the force to get to the bottom of. "That's there job to make that determination we just provide the information that was provided to us including that she was seen at the scene by a retired marshal," he said.
"I'm pretty sure that they know she was on the scene later not right away, I don't know if she talked to anybody while it was going on or anybody talked to her while it was going on500 in this modern day of communication you don't have to be at the scene to communicate with your officers."