Yona mayor indicted for drug-related extortion

The 10 appointees of Mayor Jesse Blas to the Yona Municipal have all accepted their appointments and have signed their letters of appointment.

Yona mayor Jesse Mendiola Blas has been indicted in U.S. District Court and accused of providing mail cluster box units (CBUs) for the trafficking of illegal drugs.

According to the indictment, an undercover agent posing as a drug trafficker obtained a CBU from Blas to securely receive packages of methamphetamine through the U.S. mail.

Blas allegedly agreed to receive a portion of the drug proceeds as consideration for providing the box.

According to the indictment, Blas offered to sell a second mailbox in the Yona CBUs to the undercover agent in exchange for $15,000.

Blas allegedly informed the undercover agent that he had plenty of empty boxes and could change the assigned box each week so that the drug packages coming in would not be intercepted by law enforcement.

While the Yona CBUs are maintained by the U.S. Postal Service, Blas is responsible for issuing CBUs to island residents.

When the undercover agent stopped making payments for the mailbox, Blas allegedly threatened to shut down the agent’s access to the mailbox. On March 21, 2019, Blas allegedly said that if he did not receive the $8,000 by that night, he would close the mailbox the next day.

Angel Sablan, the executive director of the Mayors’ Council of Guam, said that in the meantime, his office is available to help the residents of Yona.

Sablan told the Andrea Pellacani show on NewsTalk K57 that federal officials already took files and computers from the Yona mayor’s office.

“We’re praying for him and we’ll let justice take its course. But if there’s a conviction, he will be removed,” Blas said.

Blas said an administrative assistant will be operating the office until further guidance.

Maria Pangelinan, the executive director of the Guam Election Commission, also told the Andrea Pellacani show that if there is a vacancy before March 8, 2020, there would be a need for a special election.

In such a case, Pangelinan said the GEC board would meet and issue a notice of election if it decides to call a special election.