Driver/Body Guard Sold Meth From Governor's Car

September 24, 2009

Pete Reyes, Governor Fitial's driver/bodyguard was arrested yesterday for selling methamphetamine (ice) from the governor's car.

According to the indictment the vehicle was used to distribute the drug.

The Saipan Tribune reported:
In one instance, Pete Reyes sold the drug at the parking lot itself of the Governor's Office on Capital Hill, according to the criminal complaint filed in federal court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Benedetto represented the U.S. government at the hearing.

Special agent Daniel G. Holcomb of the Drug Enforcement Administration stated in an affidavit that a “confidential source” had told DEA agents in December 2008 about Reyes being a regular “ice” user and involved in the distribution of “ice.”

The source alleged that Reyes regularly used Fitial's vehicle, a blue Nissan Pathfinder with CNMI license plate ABX 429, to buy and distribute “ice.”

Reyes allegedly purchased “ice” every other Thursday, coinciding with the CNMI government's payday.

On March 16, 2009, Holcomb said, the source contacted DEA and told them that Reyes had offered to sell him/her a half gram of “ice” for $250.

That day, Reyes arrived aboard Fitial's Pathfinder at the parking lot of the Bank of Guam in Garapan and went inside the car of the confidential source.

After getting the $250 from the confidential source, Reyes allegedly left so he could get the “ice” from his supplier.

An hour later, Reyes called the confidential source, saying he was stuck at the Governor's Office and was unable to deliver the “ice.” He allegedly asked the source to meet him instead at the Governor's Office to pick up the drug.

This prompted federal agents to establish surveillance around the Governor's Office, as other agents followed the source from the Bank of Guam to the Governor's Office.

When the source arrived at the parking lot of the Governor's Office, he/she parked the vehicle at the side of the building.

Reyes was seen walking out to the source's vehicle from the side of the Governor's Office. Inside the source's vehicle, Reyes allegedly handed over 0.12 grams of “ice” to the source.
An earlier Marianas Variety story revealed that the Department of Public Safety had issued a gun to the driver. Isn't drug testing required before public guns are issued? Or before a person is given a position to drive a government official?

Methamphetamine is a huge problem in the CNMI with most of the drug supply entering the CNMI from China.


Here is the Complaint. Pete Reyes was charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a playground with intent to distribute. The narrative it interesting to read. It seems that the job of being the Governor's body guard and driver interfered with the business of selling drugs (CS is the abbreviation for Confidential Source):
6. Approximately thirty minutes later, the CS received another telephone call from REYES. REYES told the CS that he (REYES) got delayed running errands for Gov. Fitial, but he (REYES) spoke to his source of supply about purchasing the methamphetamine that the CS ordered from REYES. REYES told the CS that he would call him/her (CS) when he (REYES) was close to the Bank of Guam. A short time later, the CS received another telephone call from REYES. REYES told the CS that he (REYES) needed to take Gov. Fitial to lunch, but he (REYES) would call the CS after he dropped the governor off at his office on Capitol Hill.
7. Approximately one hour later, the CS received a telephone call from REYES. REYES told the CS that he (REYES) was on his way to the Bank of Guam to meet the CS. A few minutes later, Federal agents saw REYES arrive in the parking lot of the Bank of Guam driving Gov. Fitial’s blue Nissan Pathfinder, as described in paragraph #2, supra. Federal agents then began videotaping REYES in the parking lot. Shortly after REYES arrived, Federal agents saw the CS walk out of the Bank of Guam and get into the front passenger seat of REYES’ vehicle, where she sat speaking to REYES for approximately ten minutes. During this meeting, which was recorded on the digital recording device being carried by the CS, REYES took the $250 OAF from the CS. REYES told the CS that he (REYES) needed to go purchase the methamphetamine from his (REYES’s) source of supply, and he would return in five or ten minutes. During this meeting, REYES also attempted to check to see if the CS was carrying or wearing any kind of recording devices. Federal agents then watched the CS get out of REYES’s vehicle, and they watched REYES leave the area.
8. Approximately one hour later, the CS received a telephone call from REYES. REYES told the CS that he (REYES) was stuck at the governor’s office on Capitol Hill and unable to deliver the methamphetamine to the CS. REYES asked the CS to come meet him at the governor’s office to pickup the drugs. Federal agents then established surveillance around the governor’s office on Capitol Hill, while other agents followed the CS from the Bank of Guam to the governor’s office.

9. When the CS arrived in the parking lot of the governor’s office, she parked her vehicle on the side of the building. Federal agents then watched REYES walk out to the CS’s vehicle from the side of the governor’s office and get into the front passenger side of the CS’s vehicle. REYES then delivered approximately 0.12 grams of methamphetamine to the CS as he sat in the front passenger seat of the CS’s vehicle. The delivery of this methamphetamine to the CS was recorded on the digital recorder being worn by the CS, and it was also recorded on videotape by Federal agents conducting surveillance of the meeting. After REYES delivered the methamphetamine to the CS, he got out of the CS’s vehicle and walked towards he governor’s office out of sight of Federal agents. As REYES walked out of agents’ sight, other agents followed the CS to a pre-arranged location. At the pre-arranged location, DEA agents recovered the methamphetamine from the CS. Federal agents then searched the CS and his/her vehicle for any contraband or large amounts of U.S. currency and found none. DEA agents submitted the methamphetamine the CS purchased from REYES to the DEA’s Southwest Regional Laboratory (SWL) for analysis. During the analysis, the DEA’s SWL determined that the methamphetamine REYES sold contained the isomer d methamphetamine hydrochloride, and it was 91.1% pure. This indicated that REYES delivered 0.10 grams of actual methamphetamine.
The order setting the conditions of release stated that the defendant was ordered to pay a bond of $10,000 and was paced under house arrest.


Anonymous said...

This is an unfortunate development, Wendy. Are you trying to say now that Governor Fitial is somehow involved? I see a hint of inferance in your posting just like that of Marianas Variety News!

Shame on you Wendy Doromol!!!

Anonymous said...

From your final question, are you saying the guy was a user before he was hired by Fitial? To the question before that, ongoing drug tests are not required as a condition of continuing gun ownership anywhere in the country that I know of. You obviously are not a gun owner.

An addict can get started any time, including after already owning a firearm.

I'm sure Fitial is glad the guy didn't crash while high. He obviously appreciates the benefits of federal law enforcement, while feeling compassion for the defendant and his family. So you won't see him piling on, as is common among CNMI politicians and activists.

captain said...

Why is this guy immediately released on a $10K unsecured bond. Another public official, "connected" family committing crimes, using Govt vehicles, AND ARMED besides that.
If this was the "non-connected" few, the "common people", he would have had about $100K bail slapped on him.
The DEA should be "impounding the vehicle also.
And yes one pre-employment requirement for public officials is a drug test.
This is also a prerequisite for most of the companies for employment.
Looks like another one of Fitial's cronies going down.

I personal doubt if Fitial is dumb enough to get involved with drugs.
He is more into the "scam", lying and "slight of hand" type of operations.

Looks like Fitial keep surrounding himself with drug addicts, scamers and criminals along with the uneducated and bought off individuals. Seems like this has been his trend all along.

Now lets see what come out of this new
"Chinese Investment scam" that Kililli just turned, like the Korean scam that he (Killili) also uncovered.
How is it that the Feds and a Rep in Washington are the ones that keep uncovering these types of ongings while the AG and the local "cop shop" don't have a clue whats going on their own front yard.(or do but are told to look the other way?)????

Anonymous said...

Another sad day for the Covenant party. What is it with these thugs that makes them think they are above the law?

Anonymous said...

Another sad day for the indigenous.

Anonymous said...

It's the feds who let him out, not the “connected” local government.

He could run, but he can't hide.

Anonymous said...

Noni 5:09

Actually, Wendy listed the facts according to newspaper articles. If she inferred anything it was that a drug dealer should not be putting the governor in danger.

Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

There are not laws that require government employees who are issued guns by local law enforcement agencies to require drug tests anywhere? I am sure police must be drug tested in most localities. This driver/drug dealer was issued a government gun by DPS.

Saipan Writer said...

Some questions and comments:

1. The complaint says the crime occurred on 3/16/2009. That's more than six months ago. Why did the feds wait so long to arrest? And with only one incident listed, does that mean there was only one instance of criminal behavior?

2. Or is this a cooperating witness, and now he's being charged with one simple crime, and will be required to testify about a much bigger scheme?

3. House arrest could go with either, on the theory that the more the criminal behavior, the heavier the bond conditions and vice versa; or house arrest for a cooperating witness because he deserves a break for all his help.

4. I think Ed P. mentioned a while ago that we would be seeing more indictments soon. Is this what he was referring to? Is this the tip of an iceberg? Or just a small fry coincidentally caught in a political hotspot?

5. It certainly makes for interesting news.

Anonymous said...

I heard that he is ill and may be under house arrest because of his illness.

Anonymous said...

Probably having drug withdrawal symptoms

Anonymous said...

This is truly a revelation and right close to election time.
Interesting we did not heard about this last March.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the Philippines and China, meth or shabu shabu has become a huge problem. Kick them all off island.

KAP said...

Isn't there a bigger penalty for dealing near a playground?

OK, seriously, meth has been a big problem for a long time. I doubt the guy was carrying a sign advertising his wares.

Jane's probably right, they rolled him to catch bigger fish or to follow him to his source.

I'd cut the Governor a little slack on this one. Also, if the guy used as well as (allegedly) sold, the feds let him keep an impaired driver for six months.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they figured if there was an accident that it would be no big loss if it was the gov, they had a 50-50 chance that nobody else would get injured.It may be that they located the source so lets see where this goes.
KAP brings up a good point though, I wonder if the Feds would be liable if there was an accident and someone got killed or injured, especially in another vehicle or a pedestrian since the driver was under surveillance.
Maybe Jane can answer.

Anonymous said...

If the driver was in a bar with the gun, is that an additional charge?

Will the Guv need to answer under oath about his knowledge of the gun, whether he knew if it was licensed, and whether he enter a bar with that weapon?

No wonder many of the Guvs men oppose federal control.

Saipan Writer said...

I doubt any government would be liable for injury caused by a man who commits a crime just because they did not arrest him and instead had him under surveillance or otherwise. There's problem with proximate cause, among other things (like sovereign immunity, etc.).

This often comes up in cases of child abuse where a child is returned to a home and is later hurt, sometimes fatally. In most cases, the government is not held liable, even when sued. (I say most because I haven't read all of the cases and can't say how many or all with certainty.)


Anonymous said...

If someone were injured by the gun or car, perhaps he would have to answer such questions.

Otherwise, he is more of a victim of the alleged crimes than anyone posting to this thread -- unless there are any shabu addicts among us.

Anonymous said...

1. The guy is a drug user.
2. The guy is dealing drugs and was issued a gun.
3. The guy is dealing drugs from the governor's vehicle while on government time clock, while collecting his salary.
4. Not every Chinese or Filipino is dealing drugs so the comment to "kick them all off the island" was out of line. A better statement would have been "lock up every drug dealer, regardless of ethnic background."
5. It does say something about the governor. It shows what kind of people he surrounds himself with.
6. Yes, there is a bigger penalty for dealing near a playground.

Anonymous said...

It looks like “somebody” is trying to make Fitial “look bad” before the election.

Fortunately the voters are smart enough to see through such schemes.

BTW, the “Pete Reyes” who is the subject of this post is not the “Senator Pete Reyes” of your blog “tag.”

Anonymous said...

No one needs to "try to make Fitial look bad" because he does that ALL BY HIMSELF!

Anonymous said...

The reason the USAO is not seeking to forfeit the vehicle is because of the "innocent owner" defense.

The Commonwealth or the Governor did not know or have reason to know of the nefarious activities of his driver.

That is a pretty nice car, and DEA or the USAO could make good use of it in their operations.

The fact that no asset forfeiture case has been filed against the vehicle is proof that the feds know that Fitial was not implicated in any way concerning the drug dealing.

But of course those jealous of his record of service would happily suggest otherwise.

Anonymous said...

we shall see how this shakes out, but I personally don't think Fitial would be that stupid to get involved in drugs. I do not support him and have my own thoughts about him and his self serving idiots that he surrounds himself with