DOC raid defendants released on house arrest

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The magistrate complaint details the elaborate scheme to smuggle prison contraband and a top DOC officials was allegedly taking bribes to keep the conspiracy under wraps.

Guam – Five officers and four others involved in a major drug conspiracy ring at the Department of Corrections have been charged in Superior Court with contraband and conspiracy charges.

Five of the defendants appeared for their first court hearing today where the alleged supplier, Roxanne Hocog’s attorney, Curtis Van De Veld, claimed his client was never provided a search warrant before police raided her home.

The five who appeared are civilian Roxanne Hocog, DOC Internal Affairs Officer Lt. Jeff Limo, Corrections Officer Frankie Rosalin, Corrections Officer Gerry Hocog and Department of Public Works employee Ron Meno.

Details about the elaborate scheme to smuggle methamphetamine into prison have also been released in a magistrate report charging nine defendants, five of whom are corrections officers, with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit promotion of major prison contraband.

Some of the defendants were not previously named at a press conference held Thursday at the Guam Police Department Headquarters. Two new individuals have been identified: Corrections Officer Fermin Maratita and Department of Corrections inmate Bruno Simmons.

One corrections officer identified in Thursday’s press conference was not listed in the magistrate report that was released today. He is Jerome San Nicolas.

The magistrate report charges:

  • Lt. Jeffrey Cruz Limo (Corrections Officer): receiving bribes as a third degree felony
  • Fermin Maratita (Corrections Officer): conspiracy to commit promotion of major prison contraband as a second degree felony
  • Frankie Charles Rosalin (Corrections Officer): conspiracy to commit promotion of major prison contraband as a second degree felony
  • Gerry John Hocog (Corrections Officer): conspiracy to commit promotion of major prison contraband as a second degree felony
  • Edward Crisostomo (Corrections Officer): conspiracy to commit promotion of major prison contraband as a second degree felony
  • Roxanne Hocog (Civilian): possession of a schedule II controlled substance with intent to deliver as a first degree felony and conspiracy to commit promotion of major prison contraband as a second degree felony
  • Ronald Chiguina Meno (Department of Public Works employee): conspiracy to commit promotion of major prison contraband as a second degree felony
  • Shawn Paul Johnson (Inmate): giving bribes as a first degree felony and conspiracy to commit promotion of major prison contraband as a second degree felony
  • Bruno Simmons (Inmate): giving bribes as a first degree felony and conspiracy to commit promotion of major prison contraband as a second degree felony

First to appear in court was Roxanne Hocog who was identified as the supplier of methamphetamine being smuggled into DOC.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Phelps requested a $25,000 cash bail, arguing that Roxanne Hocog had a significant role in this alleged conspiracy. But her attorney Curtis Van De Veld fought to have her released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond, pointing out that because his client was never served with a search warrant, the case against her will likely be dismissed.

“At the time of the search, my client was never provided with any copy of the search warrant, nor was the other adult in the residence which was her mother,” said Van De Veld.

Phelps, however, countered that Roxanne Hocog’s primary source of income was dealing drugs out of her home.

“Part of the problem is that she was essentially dealing drugs out of her residence and that’s what really ties the people’s hands. We don’t think it’s appropriate for her to go back yet,” said Phelps.

“No drugs were found in the residence. No drugs were found in the residence,” Van De Veld argued.

After listening to Van De Veld’s arguments, Magistrate Judge Benjamin Sison chose to release Roxanne Hocog on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

This determination set the precedent for the remaining defendants who appeared in which Judge Sison imposed the same conditions for each of the defendants: $10,000 personal recognizance bond, house arrest, no contact with co-defendants, give up their passport and to stay away from bars, alcohol and illegal substances.

An exception was made for Rosalin whose responsibilities as a father of five children gave Judge Sison reason to allow him to take his children to and from school.

The magistrate report says that the investigation into the case began in July 2017. The Mangilao compound was then raided early Thursday morning where officers discovered cellular phones with inmates Johnson and Simmons.

When officers searched the phones, they discovered an elaborate scheme to smuggle drugs into prison through various sources, including some corrections officers.

“After a review of the text messages exchanged between Simmons and Johnson with the DOC officers, it was revealed that the DOC officers ‘were receiving payment to smuggle contraband (cellular phones, tobacco and illegal substances) into the prison for the DOC inmates,” the report states.

According to court documents, Lt. Jeff Limo, a high ranking figure within DOC who heads the internal affairs department, was paid $2,000 “for a unit transfer.”

Rosalin allegedly communicated with inmate Johnson several times about when “shakedowns” would occur.

Another officer, Maratita, allegedly admitted that he was successful in smuggling contraband into DOC at least once. It’s not clear when this happened, but Maratita explained to investigators that Roxanne Hocog several times asked him to bring a package into DOC to deliver to Simmons.

Maratita told investigators that he was instructed to give the package to Gerry Hocog who then delivered the package to inmate Simmons.

The corrections officer also said that he had previously purchased methamphetamine or ice from Roxanne Hocog. So investigators set up a controlled buy. That happened on August 3, according to court papers, in which Roxanne Hocog gave the ice to Maratita for free “in hopes that he would return the favor by smuggling prison contraband into the Department of Corrections.”

Meno also had contact with inmate Simmons, according to police, and with Lt. Limo. Based on court documents, text messages indicate Meno is the source contraband making its way into prison.

“According to the messages, Meno delivered a package at the drop location,” court papers state. “Additional review of the records indicate that Johnson and Simmons would coordinate with Meno on being transferred to different posts within DOC prison.”

Court papers further state that Johnson “paid limo two thousand ($2,000) for a unit transfer and that Limo was his ‘ticket out of there.'”

Johnson is also accused of paying Crisostomo $1,000 to bring contraband into prison and other favors for Johnson.