Director: Mayor should step down

MAYOR: Yona Mayor Jesse Mendiola Blas is escorted into the District Court of Guam by federal agents on Sept. 24 after his indictment was unsealed. Post file photo

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 that were once confidential and made public on Monday.  

The former confidential source, 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.

Witness extorted $450,000 from Agat merchants

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 for them to do so. She was accused of then 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 on 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.

Kinian faces up to 20 years in prison

Court documents state her status hearing was delayed after the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a motion to continue the hearing on May 21. The prosecution stated she was helping 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 another status hearing delay for Kinian because she continued to help 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 risk 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’ defense lawyer: Witness is a liar

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 Kinian. Additionally, the defense alleges, Kinian is a known liar.

Prosecutor: We have testimony and evidence against Blas

The U.S. Attorney's Office told the court that, in addition to the testimony from its confidential source, it has evidence that the mayor gave his ex-girlfriend, drug defendant Vickilyn Teregeyo, keys to cluster mailboxes outside of the Yona Mayor's Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Sambataro filed the federal government's notice on Friday that it intends to submit that specific evidence against Blas at trial.

Court documents state Teregeyo was supposed to order meth from her contacts in the U.S. mainland and sell the drugs, then give Blas a share of the profits.

She told federal investigators that Blas provided other drug traffickers access to mailboxes he controlled.

Prosecutors contend the evidence will also rebut any entrapment defense that the defense may bring up in court.

Blas remains the mayor of Yona and continues to be paid while on annual leave.

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