A man who pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine hydrochloride through the mail was sentenced to six years and six months in a California prison under the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Vincent Lujan appeared for his sentencing hearing Tuesday at the District Court of Guam in Hagåtña.
"I just want to apologize to my family," Lujan said.
Lujan admitted to his participation in a conspiracy between July 2017 and August 2018 to distribute meth with a 99% purity level. The intercepted package had been sent from Tacoma, Washington, to Guam via the U.S. Postal Service. The parcel weighed 111.2 grams.
Lujan admitted to authorities that he had been expecting a couple of ounces of meth at an agreed price of $5,000 an ounce, court documents state.
Safety valve reduces sentence from 10 years to 6
He has been in custody after he admitted to using meth in Feb. 28 while on pretrial release.
During the hearing, defense attorney Jeffery Moots' motion for a "safety valve" reduction was granted. The request ultimately reduced the mandatory minimum sentencing term that Lujan would have served in prison from 10 years to 78 months.
"He is a meth addict," Moots said. "But this is his first offense."
'He shouldn't just apologize to his family'
Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Black called U.S. Postal Inspector Richard Tracy to testify about the confession Lujan gave at the time he was first taken into custody. Tracy said Lujan told him about a bank account that he was to deposit the money into to pay for the drugs. He said Lujan, however, never provided the name of the bank or the account number, and cut off all communications after investigators continued to press him for the information.
It was stated in court that Lujan recanted his initial confession that he had worked with a couple from Washington state to bring the drugs to Guam. Lujan apparently told authorities recently that he did not know who sent the drugs and that he was only guessing during his initial interview.
However, federal prosecutors said Lujan's confession had been corroborated and that investigators got their hands on surveillance video of the couple he initially mentioned apparently delivering the drugs to the U.S. Postal Service.
Black argued Lujan never provided the "complete information to the government."
"His credibility at this stage is in doubt," Black said. "He shouldn't just apologize to his family. Fortunately, this was stopped. But he has to be sentenced as a liar. Not just as someone who would distribute the poison to his family but to the whole island."
Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood sentenced Lujan to a total of 78 months in prison. She also recommended he be placed in a residential drug treatment program, as Lujan told the court he is motivated to get help.
Lujan will also serve five years of supervised release once he completes his prison sentence.