Deferred plea in meth case

PLEA: Jeric Aradanas leaves Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola's courtroom after the court accepted a deferred plea to the drug charge filed against him. Nick Delgado/The Guam Daily Post

One of the five people arrested in July in connection with a case involving five grams of methamphetamine pleaded guilty in Superior Court on Tuesday. 

Jeric Aradanas, 28, appeared before Judge Anita Sukola. The court accepted his deferred plea to the charge of possession of Schedule II controlled substance as a third-degree felony.

His sentencing is pending his further cooperation with the prosecution. 

As part of his plea agreement, the defendant would have to cooperate with the government and testify against his co-defendants. Aradanas would have to serve only two years of supervised release, avoiding prison time.

If he completes that term without any violations, then his case could be dismissed and expunged from his record. The judge said if he violates the court's orders, then he could face up to three years in prison.

Though his plea deal was discussed in open court, the agreement was sealed from his co-defendants. 

Arandas will attend Adult Drug Court on Aug. 30.

Others charged

His co-defendants appeared in court on Wednesday, as Sukola wanted an update on the status of their cases. 

Madonna Naguinlin Magueflor, 61; Ramil Gonzales, 37; Miguelito Bataclan, 46; and Ronald Bayon, 48, also known as "Roxy," were also arrested and charged with possession of a Schedule II controlled substance with intent to deliver as a first-degree felony, among other charges.

Plea agreements for Bayon and Gonzales are being reviewed. 

Magueflor wants her case separated so that she could have a separate trial from the other defendants.  

She also has a pending motion to suppress all evidence seized and statements made in the case stating the search warrant was "defective and incomplete."

Dismissal motion

Bataclan, who is represented by attorney Nicole Cruz, wants his case dismissed with prejudice, arguing he was held in prison for about five days before he made his first court appearance. Defense contends the prosecution violated his rights by not bringing him before the court 48 hours after his arrest.

Assistant Attorney General Jeremy Kemper filed a response asking the court to deny the defense motion to dismiss, stating that contrary to Bataclan's assertions, he "was brought in front of the magistrate court in a timely manner." Cruz argued it should be dismissed, stating in court documents that "procedural failures have led to great harm to defendants, especially those facing serious criminal charges." She contends Bataclan is protected under the 48-hour rule and asked the court to dismiss his case. 

Bataclan also had a pending motion asking the court to reduce his $10,000 bail. 

He is in the hospital for medical reasons, so Bataclan was unable to appear in court. 

Sukola said she is unable to act on any of the defendant's motions until Bataclan appears in court. 

Sukola vacated the Aug. 28 trial date and the defendants are scheduled back in court on Aug. 26. 

Search warrant

In July, police executed a search warrant at a Dededo home after authorities learned of alleged illegal drug activity.

When officers arrived at the home, they searched a vehicle driven by Aradanas. Officers found a glass pipe with methamphetamine residue in his possession, and a baggie containing the drug was found inside the vehicle, according to police.

Three individuals inside the home allegedly told officers they would "solicit customers to come to the house in order for the customers to purchase methamphetamine," court documents state.

Officers confiscated approximately 5 grams of meth during the raid.