William Mantanona will have to wait a couple of weeks before he finds out how long he could spend in federal prison.
Mantanona, who pleaded guilty to making a false statement in a federal drug case, appeared before District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood on Wednesday to be sentenced.
His guilty plea did not include the jury tampering charge that was filed in the indictment.
The U.S. Probation Office recommended that he serve six months in prison, pay a $5,000 fine, and be placed on two years of supervised release after he gets out.
The defendant's attorney William Gavras argued in court that his client was not heavily involved in the scheme to tamper with the jury, adding that he was only asked by his brother, John “Boom” Mantanona to help in the alleged scheme.
“He wasn’t acting actively with Boom,” said Gavras. “William was saying he didn’t want any part of it.”
Gavras said the defendant and the juror in question in the case are related and played basketball together.
“William would often parry these requests by acquiescing to John while on the phone but then not follow through,” he states in the defendant’s sentencing memorandum.
The hearing was continued to Jan. 26 after the court recessed midday Wednesday.
William Mantanona admitted that between Oct. 11 and Nov. 2, 2018, he met with a juror in the federal drug case against Raymond Martinez and Juanita Moser to discuss the verdict. Martinez and Moser's case was moved to California after jurors on Guam twice failed to reach a verdict in their drug case trial. The government has alleged the case involved $2.5 million worth of drugs.
Court documents state that in a recorded conversation between William Mantanona and his brother, John Mantanona, Boom allegedly asked his brother to call the juror and attend the trial in order to "surprise" the juror.
John Mantanona, a retired Guam police officer and former FBI task force member, is being tried separately for his alleged role in the jury tampering scheme. He is scheduled to be back in court next month to find out the status of his case.
William Mantanona admitted he lied about knowing the juror and speaking to the juror about the trial when he was questioned by Homeland Security Investigations special agents.