Convicted felon found with firearms, drugs & explosives
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - A convicted felon is back behind bars after law enforcement authorities raided his Agana Heights home and found drugs, firearms and a homemade bomb. Daniel Untalan Mesa is back behind bars charged in federal court with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Mesa was arrested Friday night after agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Task Force and the Guam Police Department's Special Investigation Section, SWAT, K9 and Customs and Quarantine K-9 Unit executed a search warrant at his home on Pa' Asan Drive in Agana Heights. According to court documents, authorities found three rifles and a shotgun hidden inside a false wall within his bedroom. Two of the shotguns had obliterated serial numbers.
Mesa admitted to authorities that he had acquired the firearms through trading methamphetamine for the weapons. Agents also found a .45-caliber pistol along with ammunition and multiple rounds inside a storage locker in his garage.
What law enforcement didn't expect to find, was an improvised explosive device that was located in a stainless steel chest inside the garage. Court documents state that Mesa admitted he manufactured the homemade bomb for experimental purposes.
The navy's explosive ordnance disposal unit was activated to assist with the confiscation of the improvised explosive device and the California Seal. "It's always surprising to run into those kinds of things," said ATF resident agent in charge George Mastin, noting that says the bureau is seeing more and more firearms falling into illegal commerce and not being accounted for.
He added, "The ones that are involved in violent crime are definitely related to narcotics use and abuse...unfortunately these firearms are falling into the black market and being traded and being used in crimes."
While Guam law requires that all firearms be registered with GPD, the Gun Registry isn't adequately updated, which means once legitimately registered guns often end up in the wrong hands. "The big message is if you've had a firearms that's lost or stolen that's registered to you or if you've had a family member that's passed away that has firearms, make sure that those firearms are transferred appropriately and GPD is notified and if they're going to be destroyed that they're pulled out of the registry. And that we all need to work as hard as we can to keep the registry as accurate as we can," said Mastin.
That means informing the police department when a registered gun owner passes away and notifying authorities if you are moving off island and taking your weapons with you. Mastin reminds the public that being in possession of a stolen firearm is a federal crime.
Mesa was previously convicted in September 2005 for being a drug user in possession of firearms and ammunition and an explosive device. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months behind bars with three years supervised release.
In 2008 he was sentenced to another 5 months in jail and put on supervised release for 31 months.
He was remanded to the custody of U.S. Marshals pending a preliminary examination, which is scheduled for April 5.