The woman who worked with the FBI and other federal investigators in the indictment handed down against Yona Mayor Jesse M. Blas has been identified in court documents unsealed on Monday.
Brenda Kinian pleaded guilty in the District Court of Guam on Oct. 9, 2018 to charges of extortion by wrongful use of threatened force, violence or fear and aiding and abetting extortion under pretense of office and employment.
Kinian was identified as the government's confidential source who helped to unfold the investigation. She has relocated off island and is under federal protection.
According to court documents, Kinian was part of a scam involving a store in Agat that had been robbed in April 2017.
Kinian, who lived behind the store at the time, told the victims that the FBI was protecting them from further crimes and threats of violence.
She demanded and collected $450,000 from the victims in exchange for their protection, documents state. The alleged scheme went on from May 2017 to May 2018.
Kinian also convinced the robbery victims to let her run their store saying it was too dangerous. She was then accused of pocketing the money from the store's sales.
Kinian then attempted to get the victims to hand over the deed to the property – telling them they are no longer safe of Guam. Kinian and others took advantage of the victims' fear and trauma from the robbery, court documents state.
As part of her plea agreement, Kinian agreed to cooperate with the government.
Court documents state her status hearing was held off after the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a motion to continue the hearing on May 21, 2019. The prosecution stated she was assisting the government in ongoing investigations with the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies involving public corruption and narcotics trafficking.
Following the arrest of Mayor Blas, federal prosecutors on Sept. 30 requested for another status hearing delay for Kinian because she continued to assist the government in ongoing investigations and may testify in a criminal case, court documents state.
Kinian was allowed to travel to Yap until her next court appearance, as the government agreed a "security risks exists." She is scheduled to appear back in court on Feb. 7, 2020.
Kinian faces up to 20 years in prison, according to the plea agreement.
Blas remains in prison after Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood denied his request to be allowed to get out on pretrial release until his Dec. 2 trial.
The mayor stands accused of accepting and asking for bribes in exchange for a drug-dealing operation's access to mailboxes his office had control over.
Defense attorney Joseph Razzano had told the court that Blas doesn’t pose a threat to witnesses in the case including Brenda. Additionally, the defense alleges Brenda is a known liar.
Blas remains the mayor of Yona and continues to be paid as he has hundreds of annual leave credits to draw from.