Drug smuggler avoids 10-year prison sentence by helping authorities

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U.S. District Court (PNC News file photo)

A man who attempted to smuggle nearly two pounds of methamphetamine into the island has avoided a 10-year sentence by providing substantial assistance to the government.

Jacob James Quitugua was granted two requests for a downward departure from the minimum 10-year sentence attached to attempted drug possession and distribution.

Quitugua took a deal with the federal government admitting that he attempted to possess nearly two pounds of methamphetamine and took substantial steps toward committing the crime.

District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood, imposed a 57-month prison sentence and ordered his detainment in a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facility.

The case involves a package the US Postal Inspector intercepted in 2017 which contained the controlled substance.

Authorities followed the package which was picked up from the Barrigada post office. The contents of the package were replaced with sham and authorities tracked it to the vehicle Quitugua was driving after they were alerted the package was breached.

Quitugua told authorities that he knew the package contained meth and disclosed that he was going to be paid to bring the package to an individual identified as L.H.

According to court documents Quitugua was to be paid $5,000 for each parcel and was only paid for two packages.

Following his incarceration, he will be placed on 3-years supervised release.

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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.