BREAKING NEWS: Judge decides to keep Jesse Blas in jail

ARRESTED: Yona Mayor Jesse Blas is escorted into the District Court of Guam by federal agents on Sept. 24, 2019. Post file photo

Former Yona Mayor Jesse Mendiola Blas will not be getting out the Department of Corrections detention facility any time soon.

District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood reaffirmed her decision denying Blas’ request to be released pending his sentencing which is set for later this year.

“The court is sympathetic to defendant’s belief that he would have access to better health care on release than he has access to while detained. While this may well be true, it is equally true for every person detained,” Tydingco-Gatewood stated in her decision.

During a status hearing held on Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office opposed his release, citing an obstruction of justice concern.

Blas has told the chief judge that he would not attempt to contact anyone if the court allowed him to be released to third-party custodians, identified as his girlfriend of 15 months, Stacey Coletta, and his son, Beau Blas.

“Quite honestly I’ve never had interest in getting in contact with any of these people. I’ve never threatened them ... I’ve accepted my responsibility. If there’s nothing more to it, I always thought, as a mayor, one of my primary duties is to help and I’ve done so. The people of Yona couldn’t even get the correct number of signatures to remove me. That speaks volumes. I’ve never been a threat to anyone,” said Blas during Wednesday’s hearing. “I have a family. I love my family. A lot has been taken away from me. I just want to recover.

The former mayor has repeatedly sought release from jail pending his sentencing hearing citing medical conditions, inaccessibility and privacy to prepare for sentencing with his attorney, and unsanitary conditions behind bars.

The prosecutor confirmed the government is concerned that Blas would directly or indirectly contact any alleged co-conspirators or witnesses in any other cases that are affiliated with his current crime.

Blas has pleaded guilty to a single count of extortion under color of official right for taking bribes in exchange for the use of cluster mailboxes under the jurisdiction of the mayor's office. The mailboxes were allegedly used for drug dealing.

Yona voters will go to the polls on Saturday to vote for a new mayor who will fill the seat Blas vacated after his arrest.


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