Attorneys in drug smuggling case accuse federal prosecutor of “forum shopping”

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Guam – In District Court, attorneys for the couple implicated in an alleged attempt to smuggle eight pounds of methamphetamine into the island are all for a dismissal of the case, but not if it’s dismissed without prejudice, since they believe the federal government’s attempt to prosecute the couple in California is “forum shopping.”

Raymond Martinez and Juanita Moser have already gone to trial twice in the case involving the alleged attempt to smuggle nearly 2-million dollars in methamphetamine from California to Guam. And both trials resulted in a hung jury. According to court documents,the first trial ended in an 8-4 split favoring acquittal. In the second trial, the jury’s final vote was 7 to 5 in favor of guilt.

In a move to prosecute the couple in California, the federal government has motioned to have the second superseding indictment dismissed without prejudice, a strategy the defense has called “forum shopping.”

But the couple’s legal counsels have rebutted, providing arguments to the federal court to dismiss the charges with prejudice, instead. In their opposition, the defense points out that the federal government chose to pursue the charges in the District Court of Guam in 2015, due to the dismissal of the charges in the California court.

The case has been with the federal court of Guam for three and a half years. The defense says the lingering proceedings have left their clients’ lives in limbo and their liberty in peril.

According to the defense, “the government has yet to provide a principal reason to conclude that the outcome of a third trial would be any different from the first two trials.”

Arguing that “a third trial would be an unjustifiable exploitation of defense strategies, as the government once again feeds off the learning curve provided by, not one, but now two sets of trial transcripts, adjusting its case-in-chief yet again in an unapologetic campaign to finally get the result it wants.”

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Jolene Toves
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.