A Mexican national dubbed “kingpin” in a drug-smuggling scheme spanning four years will have to wait a bit longer before trial or a deal is struck.
This is the second time Francisco Arias’ case has gone before the District Court of Guam. Arias successfully appealed the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine conviction and a new trial was ordered.
Arias and his attorney Anthony Perez appeared before District Court Magistrate Judge Michael Bordallo on Tuesday telling the court that there is a language barrier issue, specifically with the previous Mexican/English translator and the accuracy of the translations provided.
The translations involve 600 pages of text messages.
The dilemma presented is twofold as US Attorney Laura Sombataro indicated that they do not know who provided the translation but are checking with the Las Vegas DEA office based on information from the US Postal Inspector.
It was also reported that the DEA agents originally assigned to the case have all left Guam.
Translator services are also needed to review a proposed plea agreement as well as in preparation for trial.
With this in mind, the court found that the ends of justice outweigh the right for a speedy trial, tolling the clock for two weeks so that the language issues can be sorted out.