Jury tampering defendant William Mantanona decided to take the federal government's plea deal the same day jury selection was scheduled to get underway in the District Court of Guam for his trial.
He pleaded guilty to making a false statement before Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood on Wednesday.
Mantanona faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the plea agreement.
Mantanona admits 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 issuance of a not guilty vote.
Court documents state that in a recorded conversation between Mantanona and his brother, John "Boom" Mantanona, the defendant was allegedly asked by Boom to call the juror and attend the trial in order to "surprise" the juror. Boom is being tried separately for his alleged role in the jury tampering scheme.
"Don't worry because he knows what to do," Mantanona said to Boom in the recording.
"Yes, and this one is very critical, I want to win this case," said Boom in the recording.
"G.T. (the juror) is a person who commits to what he says and that boy if he says yes to you, believe it," said Mantanona in the recording. "So I asked him, hey did you and Boom meet in jury? Yes, I waved over and anyway I am just asking for support for my brother. He said not to worry, you got my vote."
A mistrial was declared twice in the Martinez/Moser case that was held on Guam.
Mantanona admits that lied about knowing the juror and speaking to the juror about the trial when he was questioned by Homeland Security Investigation Special Agent Erwin Fejeran.
Mantanona is scheduled to be sentenced on April 14.
Federal prosecutors will then move to dismiss the charge of obstruction of justice by endeavoring to influence a juror filed in the indictment against him.