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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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Police Conduct Major Drug Bust Operation On Guam
Drugs, guns and over $80,000 in cash seized

By Brett Kelman

HAGTA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 29, 2013) – Police on Guam recovered marijuana, guns and more than $80,000 in cash after raiding the house of a "major distributor" of methamphetamine late last week, according to court documents.

The suspected drug dealer, Jay Diaz Santos, is currently held on $50,000 cash bail, according to Superior Court of Guam documents.

Police raided Santos' house in Chalan Pago at about 8 p.m., Friday. Inside, authorities found four firearms -- an assault rifle, a shotgun and two handguns -- plus three 30-round magazines, according to Superior Court of Guam documents.

Police also found a "large quantity" of marijuana but no methamphetamine, or "ice," according to court documents. Regardless, authorities alleged that Santos is deeply involved in the island's ice trade.

"Intelligence gathering from multiple task force units identified Santos as being 'a major distributor of crystal methamphetamines for the past two years,' which was subsequently corroborated prior to the issuance of the search warrant," court documents state.

This police raid came one day after police arrested seven people during two other drug raids at houses in Dededo. Although both cases were charged on Saturday, the Dededo raids aren't connected to the Santos investigation, according to police.

Santos was charged with possession of a Schedule I controlled substance with intent to distribute. This charge stems from the discovery of marijuana, but Santos currently faces no charges for allegedly selling methamphetamine.

Court documents state that Santos has a previous conviction for family violence. The suspect also has an expired firearms ID card, but currently faces no gun-related charges.

However, prosecutors will have the opportunity to add charges to a Superior Court case through an indictment. Generally, suspects are indicted about two weeks after they make their first appearance in court.

More raids, arrests

Police also arrested seven people as part of a separate drug investigation on Thursday, but prosecutors only charged four of those suspects on Saturday.

The Dededo drug arrests aren't connected to Santos' arrest, said Lt. Ron Taitano, of the police department's Criminal Investigation Section.

Taitano said that help from the public was critical to the arrests in Dededo, and as the investigation continues, tips from everyday citizens could be important again.

"We ask for continued assistance from the public in providing information," Taitano said.

Virgilio Peter Cepeda Demapan, Merlito Pineda Vergara, Quincy Aguon Aguon and Luis Christopher Hocog were each charged with first-degree felony possession of a Schedule II controlled substance with intent to distribute. The first three suspects are each held on $250,000 cash bail, and the fourth suspect is held on $150,000.

Police allegedly found nearly 80 grams of ice, plus some marijuana and drug paraphernalia -- including scales, pipes, heat-sealed straws and small plastic "baggies" -- after raiding a house on Swamp Road, court documents state.

Once confronted by authorities, Vergara allegedly admitted that he made $400 to $500 per day selling ice, court documents state. Vergara also allegedly told authorities that he gave most of his profits to Demapan, who owns the Swamp Road house, until recently, when he started giving profits to "another individual." That person isn't identified in court documents.

Police also raided another house in the Green Field area of Dededo. During the raid, police heard a toilet flushing, then later found ice and cash inside the house septic tank, court documents state. Police also found a small amount of ice and drug paraphernalia in the house, court documents state.

When interviewed, Hocog allegedly told authorities he is a "does not consider himself a dealer or supplier but a 'middleman,' who makes some profit by selling ice."

Police also arrested Paul Quenga, Mark Trinidad and Antonio Jao as part of the Dededo drug investigation, but none of these suspects have been charged in Superior Court.

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