In District Court Tuesday morning, former Yona Mayor Jesse Blas formally entered a plea of guilty to one count of extortion under color of official right.
Blas acknowledged that he issued a postal mailbox to Brenda Kinian, an undercover FBI informant.
He told the court that he accepted $300 from Kinian which he understood to be an expression of her gratitude only.
He said that he was unaware that the mailbox would be used to smuggle methamphetamine into Guam.
Blas said that it was his understanding that she was giving him money only for helping him obtain a mailbox. He knew that she was going to be accepting mail and packages but he did not know that those packages would contain illegal drugs until later.
Attorney Joseph Razzano says his client has accepted responsibility and that’s why he pleaded guilty, this despite statements made by Blas in court which suggest he has not accepted full responsibility.
Blas is also contesting the amount of money that the government says he took from Kinian.
The prosecution says he accepted $11,700. Blas maintains that he only accepted $300.
“The acceptance of responsibility is to count one which he pleaded guilty to. The amounts are going to be contested in a contested forfeiture hearing,” Razzano said.
Blas is facing a maximum of 20 years behind bars. A sentencing hearing has been set for May 4, at which time the sentencing range and forfeiture amount will be argued.
According to the plea deal, after serving his sentence Blas will be placed on three years supervised release.