FBI special agent testifies in Roberto’s trial


A Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent testified yesterday in the ongoing jury trial in federal court of former acting Division of Fish and Wildlife director Raymond B. Roberto.

Joe McDoulett said he was one of several FBI special agents involved in investigating Roberto.

Roberto, 40, is on trial on three counts of enticing three underage girls to engage in prostitution and one count of witness tampering.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rami S. Badawy took just a few minutes to question McDoulett, primarily asking him to identify the prosecution’s exhibits that pertain to exchange of text messages between Roberto and the alleged victims.

Guam lawyer David J. Lujan, one of two private counsels for Roberto, was more extensive in his cross-examination of McDoulett. He will resume questioning the special agent today, Friday.

Responding to Lujan’s questions, McDoulett disclosed that he visited Parkville Motel in Gualo Rai thrice, including Wednesday night, as part of their investigation in Roberto’s case.

According to the allegations, Roberto brought the alleged victims to Parkville Motel several times.

The agent said he visited the motel Wednesday night just to observe the property. He said he just “turned around” after about five minutes and that he did not interview anybody there.

He said the first time he visited the motel was in August 2013 when police detective Melissa Bauleong showed him and FBI special agent Haejun Park the place in connection with their investigation.

McDoulett said they did not inspect the rooms in that visit.

He said the second visit was when he and other FBI agents served the subpoena to the motel management. He said Yoon Suk Chang, the owner of the motel, accepted the subpoena.

Chang completed his testimony yesterday morning.

McDoulett said he participated in the interview or investigation with one of the three alleged victims.

He said one of the girls told him that she ran away from the house of her father.

During the interview, he said the girl told him “the events that she suffered through.”

Lujan repeatedly asked the question whether the girl in their interviews stated that she ran away in March 2013 or in April 10 or 11, 2013.

McDoulett said the day mentioned was not April 10 or 11.

Lujan asked if the special agent remembers a letter from one of the girls, demanding payment of $400 from Roberto.

The prosecution objected. U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona directed the counsels for a sidebar.

On the alleged tampering allegations, McDoulett said Roberto, who was then under detention, directed Darlene P. Halstead to throw away or get rid of a SIM card for a cellphone.

In his opening statement on Wednesday, Badawy said that when the sex scheme was discovered, Roberto contacted a woman to get rid of evidence.

McDoulett said upon Roberto’s instruction, Randy Igisomar, an inmate at the Department of Corrections, contacted Halstead on the phone about getting rid of the SIM card.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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