Afaisen sentenced in cocaine case

Jimmy Afaisen said he was deeply sorry for the problem he caused society and his family.

The man who was allegedly named by co-defendants in the local case as the person who supplied them with cocaine has been sentenced in federal court and he will not be walking away without doing some time.

Jimmy Afaisen stood before District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood with tears in his eyes, and his voice shaking, saying “I’m deeply sorry for the problem I caused society and my family. It has brought me and my family nothing but shame. January 26th I checked into Lighthouse, today I have no desire to use drugs. Your honor I’m asking you to give me a chance, I will continue to work on my recovery.”

While his rehabilitation efforts were acknowledged by the government, they asked the court the question: “How are we protecting this island? Really the only way to deter the crime is through consequences.”

This argument was made by United States Attorney Laura Sambataro who recommended that Jimmy Afaisen be sentenced to six months incarceration for helping his cousin Robert Afaisen deal cocaine on Guam’s streets.

While Jimmy’s attorney Curtis Van de Veld argued that without the cooperation of his client authorities would have not have been led to the barrel of cocaine that Robert claimed to have found washed up on his Talafofo property, Sambataro adamantly stated: “You need to spend time in jail, you don’t get to be in the community that you hurt.”

Van de Veld pleaded to the court to take into consideration the amount of cooperation Jimmy has provided and his efforts for self-rehabilitation, requesting that the court hand down a sentence of no jail time but instead community confinement and/or house arrest.

However, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood sided with the government that time must be served and that the sentencing recommendation provided by the government did, in fact, consider Jimmy’s assistance to authorities.

On the low end of the spectrum, Jimmy will serve six months incarceration but that sentence will be deferred for one month to allow Jimmy to complete his in-house treatment with the Light House Recovery Center. After completing his treatment he will be remanded to the Bureau of Prison where he will serve his time. Following his incarceration he will then be placed on three years supervised release.


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Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.