Hagatña, Guam – SHAWN N. ANDERSON, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, announced that defendant Michael Rodriguez Cepeda, age 50, from Guam, was sentenced in the United States District Court of Guam to 108 months imprisonment for Attempted Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(a)(1). The Court also ordered five years of supervised release following imprisonment. In addition, the Court restated Cepeda’s mandatory obligation to register with the sex offender registration agency in the state/territory that he will take up residency or work. Cepeda’s duty to register was the result of a 1990 conviction for First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Superior Court of Guam. The district court also imposed a mandatory $100 special assessment fee. In addition, defendants convicted of a federal drug offense may no longer qualify for certain federal benefits.
On August 4, 2021, Michael Rodriguez Cepeda attempted to receive a mail parcel that contained approximately 1,365 gross grams of methamphetamine. Law enforcement tracked Cepeda as he left an area of cluster mailboxes directly across from the Yona Mayor’s Office in Yona, Guam. Cepeda opened the package and then attempted to evade law enforcement. Following his arrest, Cepeda admitted that he was paid $4,000 for receiving each package of drugs. He also disclosed that this was the third package received.
“This case involved yet another attempt to use postal cluster boxes to facilitate drug trafficking,” stated United States Attorney Anderson. “The penalties clearly outweigh the personal gain to those engaging in this criminal activity. We will continue our enforcement efforts to send this message to drug traffickers and hold them accountable.”
“Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that is appearing with alarming frequency in the islands,” said John. F. Tobon, Special Agent in Charge, HSI Honolulu. “We continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute dealers so offenders like Cepeda are brought to justice.”
“In Guam and across the country, Postal Inspectors are committed to identifying and arresting drug traffickers to keep controlled substances out of the U.S. Mail” said Kevin Rho, Acting Inspector in Charge, USPIS, San Francisco Division. “I would like to thank our law enforcement partners for their continuing dedication and teamwork.”
This investigation was conducted by the Homeland Security Investigations and the United Postal Inspection Service. The case was prosecuted by Rosetta L. San Nicolas, Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Guam.