FBI arrests retired cop, 2 others

DEFENDANTS: Juanita Marie Quitugua Moser and Raymond John Martinez appear in the District Court of Guam on Feb. 22 for a jury selection hearing. There was an allegation of jury tampering in this case, which was eventually moved to California. Arising from that, FBI agents arrested a former police officer John Topasna Mantanona and two others for jury tampering in the couple's trial. Post file photo

Federal law enforcement arrested retired Guam police officer and former FBI task force member John Topasna Mantanona, also known as “Boom,” in Inarajan on Wednesday following a federal grand jury indictment on June 19.

Mantanona was arrested and charged with three counts of obstructing justice by endeavoring to influence a juror and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine hydrochloride.

According to the indictment, Mantanona “knowingly and corruptly endeavored to influence, intimidate and impede” a juror, in the discharge of his duty in a federal criminal trial. The retired officer also is accused of “corruptly influencing” a juror to persuade other jurors to vote not guilty.

Court documents allege the obstruction occurred between Oct. 11, 2018, and Dec. 27, 2018.

Mantanona was charged with a second count of obstructing justice by endeavoring to influence a juror by “corruptly positioning individuals within the courtroom” in order to influence and intimidate a juror to vote not guilty, court documents state.

A third charge of obstructing justice by endeavoring to influence a juror alleges Mantanona influenced and intimidated a juror to sign a false and fraudulent affidavit.

Mantanona is also accused of “knowingly and intentionally conspiring” to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine hydrochloride between Jan. 1, 2016, until about Jan. 15, 2019.

He retired from the Guam Police Department in August 2013. 

Mantanona’s brother, William Topasna Mantanona, was also arrested Wednesday in Chalan Pago after he was charged with obstructing justice by endeavoring to influence a juror and making a false statement to a federal agent.

William Topasna Mantanona allegedly influenced a juror, Gregorio Concepcion Tyquiengco, to vote not guilty and influenced the juror to persuade other jurors to vote not guilty in the criminal trial of Raymond John Martinez and Juanita Moser, court documents state.

On Dec. 21, 2018, William Mantanona also allegedly made a false statement and representation to the Department of Homeland Security concerning an investigation by the DHS denying juror interference in the trial, the indictment states.

Tyquiengco was arrested Wednesday in Merizo and charged with contempt of court as a misdemeanor.

According to the indictment, Tyquiengco violated the District Court’s order by discussing the case during the trial with an individual outside of the jury and federal court system, namely William Topasna Mantanona, and “agreed with W.M. to issue a verdict of not guilty at the conclusion of the trial,” court documents state.

Martinez and Moser's case was moved to California after jurors on Guam twice failed to reach a verdict in their drug case trial. The government has alleged the case involved $2.5 million worth of drugs.

Plea agreements have been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California for the couple who were charged with attempting to smuggle 8 pounds of methamphetamine, or "ice," from California to Guam in 2015.

Court documents previously filed in the Guam case against Martinez and Moser state John Mantanona worked as an investigator for Martinez and Moser's defense.

In one recording between Moser and John Mantanona, taken about two weeks before the second mistrial on Nov. 13, 2018, the two are heard talking about how John Mantanona wanted to get people to show up in force to support Martinez and Moser in front of the jury, Post files state.

John Mantanona also stated that one of the jurors is his uncle.

In a second recording, between Martinez and John Mantanona, the two appear to talk about payment to a former police officer in the amount of "13," which federal prosecutor Fred Black previously said he assumed to mean $13,000, Post files state.