Guam Drug Bust: Two Men Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for 4-Pound Methamphetamine Package

Two men, Francisco Herrera Salas and Joseph Mesa Babauta, have been sentenced to serve nine years in federal prison for their involvement in a major drug trafficking operation. The case, which unfolded in the District Court of Guam, involved the discovery of a nearly 4-pound package of methamphetamine that was mailed to the island from Utah in 2020.

During their sentencing hearing on Thursday, Salas and Babauta pleaded guilty after federal investigators uncovered their role in retrieving the illicit package. The authorities had intercepted the package and replaced the methamphetamine with an inert substance, placing a tracking device to monitor its movements. Salas was observed picking up the package and was subsequently followed by law enforcement to Hågat, a town on the island.

The situation escalated when investigators were alerted that the package had been opened. They quickly located it in the passenger seat of a different vehicle driven by Babauta, who was promptly pulled over. Meanwhile, Salas, realizing the unfolding events, attempted to flee but was eventually apprehended by authorities.

Both Salas and Babauta exercised their right to remain silent and refused to make statements to the postal inspector without legal representation. They were later fingerprinted and released, only to be indicted in October 2022. The court documents revealed that the methamphetamine found in the package had an astonishing purity level of 99%.

In the sentencing hearing, Senior Judge Alex Munson deliberated on the appropriate punishment for Salas and Babauta. The U.S. attorney recommended a sentence of 10 years, while the defense attorneys suggested a term of 70 months, approximately six years. Ultimately, Judge Munson decided to sentence both men to nine years in federal prison, taking into account credit for time served. Additionally, he ordered a three-year supervised release following their incarceration.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing battle against drug trafficking and the significant impact it has on communities. The successful interception and prosecution of Salas and Babauta highlight the dedication and effectiveness of federal investigators in combating the illegal drug trade.

As the island of Guam grapples with the consequences of this drug bust, it is hoped that the sentencing of Salas and Babauta will serve as a deterrent to others involved in similar criminal activities. The District Court of Guam’s firm stance against drug trafficking sends a clear message that such actions will not be tolerated, and those responsible will face severe consequences.

The fight against drug-related crimes continues, and law enforcement agencies remain vigilant in their efforts to protect communities from the devastating effects of illicit substances.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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