Man admits he influenced juror in drug case

SIBLING: John "Boom" Mantanona, brother of William Mantanona, faces a trial separate from his brother's in a federal jury tampering case. Post file

Retired Guam police officer John "Boom" Mantanona was granted a request to delay trial in the District Court of Guam for about five months.

John Mantanona, who was indicted in connection to the drug and jury tampering charges, was set to go to trial on March 3. He appeared before District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona via video conference on Wednesday.

Manglona is presiding over the case after Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood recused herself.

Defense attorney Jay Arriola asked the court to reschedule the trial because the defense is in the process of reviewing 6,800 pages of documents and over two months of audio recordings from intercepted communications.

Arriola also told the court he may not be available, as he has other upcoming trials in the Superior Court of Guam.

The U.S. Attorney's Office did not object to the request.

Manglona granted it and scheduled trial to begin on Aug. 11.

John Mantanona will first be tried on the counts of obstructing justice by endeavoring to influence a juror. A second trial for the charge of conspiracy to distribute meth will follow.

John Mantanona was charged in June 2019 with 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 in the federal drug case against Raymond Martinez and Juanita Moser, court documents state.

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

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

His brother, William Mantanona, also was accused of influencing a juror in the federal drug case. He pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday. 

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