Drug convict who ingested meth detained

DISTRICT COURT: Billy Joe Palomo is back in federal custody after it was made known at District Court of Guam Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan Jr.'s courtroom on Friday that he ingested meth and tested positive for drug use twice while on supervised release. The District Court, which is where federal cases are tried, is shown April 2. Post file photo.

A federal drug defendant is back in custody after he violated his conditions of supervised release.

Billy Joe Palomo appeared before District Court of Guam Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan Jr. on Friday.

Federal prosecutors called for Palomo to be detained after he allegedly failed to report to a drug test, was hospitalized in the intensive care unit for four days after he ingested meth, tested positive for drug use twice and admitted to using meth this month.

Defense attorney John Gorman said his client has a support system with his family and the Lighthouse Recovery Center. He asked that Palomo be allowed to remain out of prison so that he could continue working.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marivic David told the court the government is concerned that the defendant is a danger to himself.

"I am working hard, Your Honor," said Palomo, as he wiped away tears. "I have been through a lot lately."

Palomo told the court he had been a "toxic relationship" for the past three years and he and his girlfriend had recently split up. He said that combined with being overwhelmed at work "took a toll" on him.

"You're still clinging onto the love you have for this lady," Manibusan said. "Loving someone isn't bad but it just depends ... I don't know if I release you if it might get worse."

U.S. Probation Service recommended that he remain out of prison noting he had 27 negative drug tests in the past.

However, Judge Manibusan had U.S. Marshals take Palomo into custody. He will be held through Sunday morning.

"I am detaining you so you will consider and know what happens if you violate in the future," Manibusan said.

The court also ordered that he have no contact with the woman he was involved with, submit to a drug test every other day, and reduce his work hours if it gets too stressful.

Palomo will be back in court on Sept. 26 to answer to the latest violations.

Drug indictment

In 2008, Palomo was indicted on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and attempted possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Court documents state he did aid and abet and cause a woman to attempt to possess with intent to distribute over five grams of meth.

He pleaded guilty to the first charge in 2009 and was sentenced to 10 years in the Bureau of Prisons.

Palomo was placed on supervised release for five years.

In 2018, Palomo petitioned for the court to lift his supervised release.

However, at a hearing held last year, it was alleged that Palomo had committed numerous violations including failed and missed drug tests, as well as failure to attend sessions at Sanctuary.

Additionally, on Dec. 21, 2018, Palomo was charged in the Superior Court of Guam with possessing a Schedule II controlled substance.

According to the magistrate's complaint, a distraught family member of Palomo called police after the defendant had barricaded himself in her home.

Palomo had earlier "indicated to a neighbor an intent to kill himself" and had asked the same neighbor to smoke meth with him, documents state. 

Responding police officers received a key to the home and called out to the defendant, who emerged and told police that he would test positive for drugs.

Officers then discovered a glass pipe containing suspected drug residue concealed in one of Palomo's shirts. Palomo told police the items were his. He also "made several statements concerning hearing voices of persons who were not present," court documents state.