Yona mayor will remain in jail

208
Mayor Jesse Blas was arrested on federal extortion and bribery allegations.
Loading the player...

Indicted on drug-related extortion and bribery charges, Yona Mayor Jesse Blas will remain behind bars.

This was the decision of District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood who considered arguments by legal counsels and evidence presented in a detention hearing.

Yona Mayor Jesse Blas has been deemed a danger to the community once again. The decision this time was made by Chief Judge Gatewood.

In coming to the decision, the Chief Judge considered the mayor’s employment, past conduct and criminal history.

While the defense argued that the FBI informant Brenda and Blas’ ex-lover Vickilyn Teregeyo are not credible sources, the Yona mayor was heard in an audio recording admitting to slapping, choking and punching his ex-lover in the face. He was also recorded admitting that he is “very connected” to the local “courthouse,” and bragging that he “can make {explicit} happen,” as stated in the decision.

Gatewood further stated that there is a serious risk that Blas would attempt to obstruct justice by tampering with potential witnesses through intimidation or physical injury.

Gatewood also considered the charges against Blas and his alleged use of ties to local law enforcement which, according to testimony, “run deep, but in a negative way.”

The order stated: “With the level of power and influence Defendant ostensibly holds, this court is unable to find any condition or combination of conditions that would reasonably assure the safety of any other person and the community.”

Blas will remain behind bars for the duration of the trial. This means the village of Yona will continue to be without a mayor.

But Mayors Council of Guam Executive Director Angel Sablan says Blas’ arrest and detention is not enough to warrant a special election.

“As long as there is no declaration of a vacancy from either the election commission or the courts, then we will remain the way we are right now. Even through his trial now, we will let the justice system take its course. But if he is found not guilty then obviously he will come back and operate and function as the mayor. If he is found guilty, it will mean immediate removal as mayor of Yona,” Blas said.

Although Blas is the only one who could appoint a municipal council for Yona, Sablan says that because the time frame for the use of a municipal council to be appointed is 240 days out from a general election, Blas has until March 8, 2020 to do so.

If he is convicted anytime before that date, the election commission would be forced to declare a vacancy.

##

Previous articleNot guilty verdict in GHURA trial raises questions
Next articleMcCarron found guilty in sexting sting trial
Jolene Toves
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.