Former Yona mayor Blas asks for temporary release

Mayor Jesse Blas was arrested on federal extortion and bribery allegations.

Former Yona Mayor Jesse Blas is asking to temporarily be released from federal custody where he is being held on drug-related extortion and bribery charges.

The former mayor who took a deal with the government argues that he is not a danger to the community and is asking to be released from custody pending sentencing.

His reasons for the request not only include allowing him to take care of personal matters but also the inhumane conditions at the Hagatna detention Facility and references to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But according to the government, those reasons are not sufficient for his release.

Assistant US Attorney Laura Sambataro filed opposition, stating that the federal court has already deemed Blas a danger to the community.

She also shot down the request stating that there is no evidence of any conditions at the HDF which render his confinement inhumane.

Finally, she argued that releasing Blas or any other nonviolent defendants in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as his attorney John Gorman is advocating for is not a basis for release.

Sambataro says there is no new information to justify Blas’ 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.