Hagatña, Guam – SHAWN N. ANDERSON, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands announced that defendant William Topasna Mantanona, age 65, from Chalan Pago, Guam was sentenced in the United States District Court of the Guam to six months imprisonment for False Statement in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001(a)(2) and 2. The Court also ordered two years of supervised release following imprisonment, a mandatory $5,000 fine, and $100 special assessment fee.
During November 2018, the matter of United States v. Raymond John Martinez and Juanita Marie Quitugua Moser, Criminal Case No. 15-00031, went to trial before the United States District Court for the District of Guam. William T. Mantanona contacted a juror in an effort to affect the outcome of the trial. Federal agents recorded conversations of this activity between Mantanona and a third party. A mistrial was later declared after jurors were unable to reach an agreement on a verdict. Agents then questioned Mantanona, who provided a false statement concerning the juror interference. Mantanona stated that he never discussed a not guilty vote with a specific juror in the ongoing trial knowing full well that this statement was false. The United States Attorney’s Office referred the case involving Martinez and Moser to the Central District of California for prosecution, which resulted in convictions.
United States Attorney Anderson stated, “The United States Constitution provides for a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. Although this Sixth Amendment right protects criminal defendants, the public also has an interest in fair and impartial court proceedings. Mantanona’s conduct was an affront to this basic concept of the rule of law. Such conduct taints our well-placed faith in trial by jury. This matter was therefore worthy of aggressive prosecution. Our office applauds the great work by the FBI and HSI, as well as the Court’s strong message of accountability.”
FBI Honolulu Division Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill stated that, “Today’s sentencing of William Mantanona sends a message that any attempt to corrupt the system of justice, will be met with severe consequences. Mantanona’s participation in a scheme to influence a juror threatened the integrity of court proceedings which are the foundation of our justice system. The FBI takes its mission of protecting the American public seriously. We are dedicated to conducting thorough investigations and are committed to ensuring the subjects of our investigations get a fair trial before a truly impartial jury.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Rosetta San Nicolas, Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Guam.
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