Escorted in handcuffs, Yona Mayor Jesse Blas appeared at the District Court of Guam to answer to charges of extortion contained in an indictment against him.
Before Blas was mayor of Yona he was a Guam Police Department officer and former Judiciary of Guam Marshal.
But today, he was on the other side of law enforcement as he was led into the federal courthouse surrounded by FBI agents, HSI agents and US Postal Inspector Police officers just before 3 p.m. when the mayor was scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing.
An indictment in federal court alleges that the Yona mayor made a deal with a woman identified as Brenda who was posing as a drug trafficker interested in obtaining a mail box at the Yona cluster box units, or CBU, which the mayor’s office is in charge of providing to residents free of charge.
But according to court documents on Nov. 21, 2018, Blas seized the opportunity to make cash on the side agreeing to provide Brenda with a mai box for $300 to “enable drug traffickers to securely receive packages of methamphetamine through the U.S. Mail.”
Authorities say that Blas agreed to receive portions of the drug proceeds as consideration for providing the mailbox.
The indictment alleges that Blas used his position as mayor to provide Brenda with a key to the mailbox and offered to sell a second mailbox in the Yona CBUs to the woman and her purported drug trafficking co-conspirators in exchange for $15,000.
The scheme allegedly involved Blas offering the woman the ability to change mailboxes weekly so that drug packages coming in would not be intercepted by authorities.
Court documents detail that on Dec. 11, Blas received $2,500 from proceeds of a drug package that came through the mail. Then, on Dec. 20 Blas was paid $5,000 in exchange for continued use of the CBU. Then, on Jan. 12, Blas allegedly received $4,000 from the informant as payment for continued use of the mailbox. A few days later, the authorities Blas attempted to sell access to another CBU in exchange for $15,000.
Court documents state that Blas blackmailed Brenda when payments stopped, threatening to shut down the mailbox the next morning if he did not receive $8,000 on March 21.
As a result of the allegations, Blas was charged with extortion and bribery. He was also provided notice of forfeiture for proceeds from the illegal activity.
In court today, Blas pleaded not guilty to all charges in the indictment but when it came to determining whether or not he would pose a danger to the community, the government put FBI Agent Rafael Fernandez on the stand who divulged information not contained in the indictment.
Agent Fernandez testified that the initial complainant who put Blas on authorities’ radar told the FBI that she was involved in a romantic relationship with Blas and that he was abusive and punched her in the face and then held her hostage for three days at a residence in Yona.
She also alleged that Blas, along with local marshals, would engage in sexual acts with women who would otherwise be incarcerated in exchange for their freedom.
Fernandez testified further that the CBU boxes were linked to convicted drug trafficker Lovelia Mendoza citing that two of her packages sent to the mailboxes were believed to have been taken by Blas.
At this time, it is unclear if Blas was released from custody or held. Trial has been set for Dec. 2.