Federal prosecutor exasperated about "the state of corruption on this island"
By Eric Rosario
Federal prosecutor Laura Sambataro revealed in Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood's court today that federal authorities may know the identity of a Guam Police officer who went to Brenda Kinian's Yona home and threatened her life.
"He was in his uniform," Ms. Kinian told Ms. Tydingco-Gatewood about the male police officer who visited her home in Yona in 2019. "He said, 'Do not get the mayor in trouble.' He said he's from Guam, he's Chamorro and I'm not. I felt that I'm not safe. I don't mind about myself, but my children."
Ms. Kinian had been operating under cover on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the time, and had just completed a series of stings involving then-Mayor Jesse Blas that eventually led to his arrest, indictment, and guilty plea in the largest public corruption case since the conviction of the late Gov. Ricardo J. Bordallo.
She ran to federal agents immediately after the unnamed police officer left her home. That was when the FBI removed her from the island and placed her under protective custody.
Ms. Sambataro told the court this issue goes to the power Mr. Blas and others wield, and the dangers Ms. Kinian and other informants face because of public and police corruption on the island. "I spoke to the agent and he took me from there," Ms. Kinian said. "He moved me off island."
The judge asked the prosecutor if she can identify the officer and connect that officer to Mr. Blas.
"That's not something we'd reveal in public," Ms. Sambataro said. "What we can say publicly is that she was relocated after this incident happened. Ms. Kinian was in danger and had to be relocated. It's very interesting she gets threatened in Yona by this cop in Yona after all this. It goes to the mayor's power - that the police is on his side."
Defense attorney Joe Razzano objected to the testimony, saying that if prosecutors are offering no evidence on the record that links this yet-to-be-named police officer to Mr. Blas, then it is irrelevant to the ongoing sentencing hearing.
"It goes to a perceived power imbalance, your honor," Ms. Sambataro said. "The officer was being clear for Mr. Kinian not to tell on the mayor, who is from Guam and is Chamorro, and has the ability to crush her. That says something about the state of affairs in Yona and the state of corruption in this island. Aren't you concerned, your honor, about the state of corruption on this island?"