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Friday, April 18, 2014

Guam man sentenced to 55 months in prison for drug charges

Trifon Pineda, age 44, was sentenced on Jan. 16, 2014, in the District Court of Guam to 55 months’ imprisonment for two charges related to possession of crystal methamphetamine. After his release, he will be deported.

Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood also ordered Pineda to pay a $100 assessment fee.

Pineda and his co-defendant, Les Vitug, were arrested on a complaint on March 20, 2011. On March 23, 2011, the grand jury indicted the defendants for conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and attempted possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

On March 6, 2011, postal inspectors seized a package addressed from Les Vitug in California to Joan Vitug in Guam. Agents searched the package pursuant to a federal search warrant and recovered 27 grams of ice that was 99 percent pure.

Les Vitug, who was sentenced on March 27, 2012, to 48 months, claimed the package and was detained by law enforcement agents. Vitug told agents he was picking up the package for his pare, Pineda. Vitug called Pineda (with agents listening) to tell him the package was in. Pineda went to Vitug’s house where he was arrested. Pineda admitted that the package was his and it was sent to him by his brother, Pablito Pineda, who has also been indicted and has pleaded guilty. Pablito Pineda is awaiting sentencing.

Alicia A.G. Limtiaco, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, gave credit for the investigation to the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Service Inspectors, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, task force agents from the Superior Court of Guam’s Probation Office assigned to the DEA, Guam Customs and Quarantine, and the Guam Police Department. The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clyde Lemons. (USAO)

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