Jury selection for the first federal trial on Guam since the pandemic hit earlier this year will be held at the Guam National Guard Readiness Center in Barrigada.

Judges and staff from the District Court of Guam held a site visit on Friday in the case against drug defendant Mark Mayo.

Mayo was escorted into the facility by U.S. marshals.

“The max capacity that we are tracking for here with COVID-19 mitigation and requirements is 150 within this building,” said Guam National Guard Capt. Napu Manglona, who briefed attendees about the specifications of the facility.

Only jury selection will be held outside of the courtroom.

“At both places, the court will practice the required wearing of the mask and also the social distance situation will be in effect at both places,” said Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood.

“We will have a courtroom setup similar to a standard courtroom,” said Charles White, chief deputy clerk of the District Court of Guam. “There will be adequate spacing for members of each party.”

At least 70% of potential jurors responded to the court that they are either very comfortable or somewhat comfortable with participating in a trial during the pandemic.

Drug trial

Mayo’s trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 10, but Tydingco-Gatewood said that could be delayed by a couple of days to allow for more time to prepare.

Mayo, along with co-defendants Joseph R. Roman II and Lovelia Mendoza, have since pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine hydrochloride, attempted possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride with intent to distribute and a notice of forfeiture.

According to the indictment, the three allegedly participated in a scheme to distribute methamphetamine hydrochloride between April and May 2018.

Mayo has argued he was unaware of the contents of the package he was asked to pick up.

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