Joseph Mansapit

Joseph Mansapit

A federal investigation has been launched after a drug defendant from Guam being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, was brutally beaten while in custody.

Defense attorney Curtis Vandeveld requested that the District Court of Guam close the case against his client, Joseph San Nicolas Mansapit, because of his death, according to court documents filed with the District Court of Guam on July 12.

Mansapit was serving a six-month sentence after his supervised release was revoked.

The U.S. Probation Office and Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood confirmed in court that the incident surrounding Mansapit's death remains under investigation.

Chief Judge Ramona Manglona sentenced Mansapit in February after he admitted to multiple probation violations including failure to report for four drug tests, failure to attend three individual treatment sessions, failure to attend one group treatment session and failure to submit a monthly supervision report. The sentence included 26 months of supervised release.

Vandeveld stated, "The sentence imposed on defendant cannot be completed and the further supervised release because of defendant's violent death."

Drug case

In March 2014, the U.S. attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands announced that a federal grand jury had returned an indictment charging Mansapit and several others with conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

He was among those who pleaded guilty for his part in a scheme to smuggle meth to Guam from Las Vegas.

Manaspit was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2015.

Federal investigation

Mansapit's death was brought up during a sentencing hearing held Monday for drug defendant and former Guam Homeland Security employee Ricky Sanchez.

Defense attorney John Gorman questioned the medical care, or lack thereof, that the Bureau of Prisons provides its inmates.

Gorman said in court that he learned Manasapit was beaten in Las Vegas while in custody.

The U.S. Probation Office and Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood confirmed in court that the incident surrounding Mansapit's death remains under investigation.

Tydingco-Gatewood said she also learned from the U.S. Marshals Service that Mansapit died while at a "contracted federal facility."

No other details about the case have been released at this time.