By Troy Torres
What if I told you the lieutenant governor of Guam had several meetings in his chambers with a dirty ex-cop employed by at least two major drug trafficking organizations on island?
What if I told you the lieutenant governor created and directed an anti-drug hit squad within the Guam Police Department, and then made his dirty ex-cop friend a consultant for it?
What if I told you that all that hit squad did was take down the competitors of those two drug trafficking organizations?
And what if I told you that the Feds have proof that the lieutenant governor's dirty cop consultant was the guy who kept the drug trafficking organizations from being raided, and even put the lives of confidential informants at risk by exposing their names to the heads of the local drug cartels... all for a fee?
I'm not talking about the current lieutenant governor, Josh Tenorio.
This story is about former Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio and his dirty ex-cop uncle, John "Boom" Mantanona, who has been under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for police corruption tied to Guam drug cartels since at least 2017.
Feds unseal explosive 2018 warrant
And it really doesn't matter what I tell you. What matters is a recently-unsealed July 3, 2018 application for a tracking warrant by FBI Special Agent Patrick Ernst, signed and sealed by then-U.S. District Court of Guam Magistrate Judge Joaquin V.E. Manibusan, Jr.
Mr. Ernst wanted to place a global positioning tracker on Mr. Mantanona's brown-colored Lexus, because the FBI believed that Boom was using the car to continue a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine hydrochloride, a federal felony that can cost you up to 20 years of your freedom per count.
In order to convince the judge that he could back up his belief with more than a hunch, Mr. Ernst had to explain the probable cause that existed at the time to back up his theory. The 32-page application describes Boom's employment with the drug kingdoms built by Audrey "Red" Wolford and Eric Aponik, and even indicates Boom's interest in two Agat-based drug trafficking organizations.
Wolford DTO paid Boom to protect it
Mr. Ernst described to the judge text messages the FBI obtained between Wolford and Boom from May 6, 2017 to September 18, 2017. The messages mainly pertain to payments Wolford owed Boom for protecting her drug trafficking organization from being raided by the Guam Police Department, and people known to Boom, whom he calls, "the Team (more on this below)."
At 9:35 p.m. on August 30, 2017, Boom increases his value to Wolford by exclaiming to her via text message, "OK THKS I WILL BE THE CONSULTANT AND POLICE RESERVE FOR GPD COMING SOON APPT BY THE GOV AND LT GOV THAT'S WHY I NEEDED TO PAY MY ATTORNEY 4 THE SUE."
The governor and lieutenant governor at the time were Eddie Calvo and Ray Tenorio, respectively. Calvo placed management oversight of the Guam Police Department under Tenorio during his tenure. According to Boom, the island's top officials had made him a GPD consultant at the height of the power of Tenorio's so-called anti-drug hit squad, the Mandana Drug Task Force.
Wolford was pleased by the news, telling Boom, "Congratulations," and spitting off a staccato of messages promising Boom payment for his increased protection of her drug trafficking organization.
Eight days later, at 9:58 a.m. on September 7, 2017, and while in the presence of Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio, Boom asked Wolford where his money was.
Mandana takes out competitor through prison raid
Also tucked into the series of text messages was a reference to the Mandana Drug Task Force and Boom's close relationship with the officers within it. On May 6, 2017 - three months prior to the August 24 raid on the Department of Corrections Mangilao prison that led to the arrest of Lt. Jeff Limo by the Mandana Drug Task Force - text messages show Wolford and Boom conspiring to smuggle narcotics into the prison while Boom was in the presence of the Mandana officers.
According to Mr. Ernst's declaration of probable cause:
"On May 6, 2017, MANTANONA texts WOLFORD at (671) 788-1903, 'did u check on them they dont want thats it no body will call me 4 info I will avoid all calls and I will push it,' and later, 'Did they promise i can protect them no more if i didnt get anything u know what is going to happen thanks'. WOLFORD responds, 'Uncle give me til Saturday because they are on lockdown right now since this morning ..'. MANTANONA responds 'Ok but have him no mention on the phone be careful cus they are watching them' and later 'Am with the team talking to them'. WOLFORD responds, 'Oh shit@'. Based on my training, experience and discussions with other agents, MANTANONA is referring to providing information, or protection to inmates at the Guam Department of Corrections (DOC), and that MANTANONA is in the position to receive information from law enforcement, and is in the presence of law enforcement. Specifically, MANTANONA's text stating '...i can protect them no more if i didn't get anything...' is a direct reference to providing information or protection in exchange for payment. When WOLFORD texts '...they are on lockdown right now', she is referencing inmates in the Guam DOC. When MANTANONA texts, 'Ok but have him no mention on the phone be careful cus they are watching them,' MANTANONA is referring to inmates at the Guam DOVC. Inmates at the DOC frequently use the phone system at the DOC and the phone system advises the calls from the phone system are recorded. Based on my training and experience, MANTANONA was warning WOLFORD to have the DOC inmates be cautious in their telephone discussions because law enforcement could review the recordings of the calls. Law enforcement community, groups of law enforcement assembled for tactical operations, or other law enforcement matters are routinely referred to as 'teams.'"
At the time of the text messages, Boom Mantanona already was under FBI investigation. Which meant the 'team' of law enforcement he was with at the time of the conspiracy with Wolford to smuggle drugs into the prison was neither the FBI, nor their federal counterparts in the Drug Enforcement Agency, Homeland Security Investigations, or the ATF.
The only drug interdiction team left was the Mandana Drug Task Force.
And when that same task force of corrupt Guam Police Officers raided the prison facility three months later, the arrests didn't include Wolford or Mantanona. In fact, one of the people implicated in the August crackdown was Luis Hocog, who ran a competing drug trafficking organization. Several of his relatives were arrested following the raid.
Drug lords Ben Rios & Eric Aponik: preview to Part 2
FBI Special Agent Ernst provided several more pages of probable cause for the tracking warrant he wanted to place on Boom's brown Lexus, which Ernst told the judge was paid off by convicted drug lord Vincent Rios for $30,000. Mr. Rios and Ms. Wolford were business associates, prior to Rios's arrest years earlier.
Ernst provided the the judge a partial transcription of the relevant portions of a conversation recorded by now-convicted felon Eric Aponik on April 27, 2018. The conversation, which was recorded by Aponik for the FBI as their confidential informant, happened at the Onward Golf Course in Talofofo and occurred at a time, when Aponik's associates believed the drug lord was running his drug trafficking organization free and clear of the watchful eye of law enforcement.
Stay tuned to Kandit News for more about this recorded conversation, and how Boom Mantanona unwittingly made it clear to the FBI that law enforcement personnel throughout the government of Guam were compromised, and could be purchased to protect drug trafficking organizations and prevent their detection.
Boom Mantanona now is cooperating with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office, which means one thing: the Feds are after bigger fish, and Boom is singing like a canary about who they are, and what they've done.