Masseuse Released From Jail to Give Governor Fitial a Massage














January 13, 2010

Is it normal procedure for someone who has been arrested on a felony charge to be released from jail without a judge's order?

A Chinese woman who was arrested in the recent human smuggling case was denied bail because she was considered a flight risk, but she was released from jail to give the governor a massage on Friday according to the Marianas Variety.

From the story:
The masseuse is under the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service but detained at Corrections.
She was escorted by four Corrections personnel when she came out of, and returned to the facility on Friday, Variety was told.
In 2006, Fitial underwent a series of operations to treat his spinal stenosis, a medical condition in which the spinal canal narrows and compresses the spinal cord and nerves.

Variety learned that Corrections Commissioner Dolores M. Aldan was asked by Attorney General Edward Buckingham to submit a written report on the matter after federal authorizes inquired about it.
Yesterday the United States filed a motion for an immediate evidentiary hearing. From the document:
BASIS FOR THE HEARING
On January 5, 2010, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency arrested the Defendant in a sting operation targeting a group of Chinese nationals attempting to illegally travel from the C.N.M.I. to Guam via boat. The Defendant was indicted that same day on twenty-two counts of attempting to bring an unauthorized alien into the United States, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(2). Also that same day, the Court appointed Joseph E. Horey as her counsel. She was arraigned on January 6, 2010, where she pled not guilty. Citing a high risk of flight, the Court denied bail and remanded her to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. The Marshals then delivered her to the C.N.M.I. Department of Corrections, where she remains incarcerated.

Upon information and belief, prior to her arrest, the Defendant was Governor Benigno Fitial’s regular massage therapist. Early in the morning of January 8, 2010, the Governor instructed C.N.M.I. Department of Corrections Commissioner Dolores M. Aldan to deliver the Defendant to his private residence for the purpose of providing him treatment. Prior to delivery, Commissioner Aldan tried repeatedly to contact Attorney General Edward Buckingham and the U.S. Marshals Service, but she was not successful. No attempt was made to contact the Defendant’s counsel or the Court.

Despite the failure to obtain prior federal authorization, having received the Governor’s approval, Captain Arnold K. Seman, Captain Georgia Cabrera, Officer Abigail Borja, and Commissioner Aldan escorted the Defendant to the Governor’s residence in the early morning hours on January 8, whereupon she provided the Governor’s treatment. The Defendant was promptly returned to the Department of Corrections after the treatment.

The Government submits that an evidentiary hearing is needed to ascertain the facts and circumstances of these events, and to determine whether any prejudice was caused thereby. For this reason, the Government requests that this motion be granted.
Gosh, aren't there other masseuses on Saipan? I saw at least a dozen massage parlors when I was there. How can the governor think it's okay to release a person from jail to meet his own personal needs? Outrageous! Did she get paid for her services? Where does she put her money? In the pocket of her orange jumpsuit? Or maybe she gives her services for free to the governor like a "volunteer." This story demonstrates how out of control the CNMI government officials truly are in bending the law, ignoring the law and disrespecting the law.

According to the copy of the two-page indictment issued January 5, 2010 defendants Jian Li and Qing Mei Cheng were charged with 22 counts of alien smuggling for "attempting to bring aliens to the United States, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(2)." Criminal complaints were filed against 22 Chinese aliens charged with attempted improper entry into the United States, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1325(a).

The Governor's Office, the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Corrections declined to comment. Did anyone really expect them to say something? They must be thinking of something really good to say and coordinating their stories on this one. I can't wait to hear their explanation.

Governor's Body Guard Gets House Arrest and Parole

Pete Reyes, the Governor Fitial's former body guard and driver who was arrested last year for using the governor's vehicle to deal drugs, was sentenced yesterday by Judge Alex Munson.

From the sentencing document:
SENTENCE: Pursuant to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, and considering
provisions found in 18 U.S.C. § 3553, it is the judgment of the court that the defendant,
PETER R. REYES, is hereby sentenced to 3 years PROBATION and six months
home confinement which will require that he comply with the following conditions:
1. That the defendant have a six-month term of home confinement under the Location Monitoring Program;
2. That the defendant shall not commit another federal, state or local crime;
3. That the defendant shall not unlawfully use and/or possess a controlled substance. He shall submit to one drug test within 15 days and at least two periodic drug tests thereafter, not to exceed eight tests per month, as directed by the U.S. probation officer, for the detection of drug and alcohol use;
4. That the defendant shall refrain from any alcohol;
5. That the defendant shall be prohibited from possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapon or have such at his residence.
6. That the defendant shall submit to the collection of a DNA sample at the direction of the United States Probation Office;
7. That the defendant shall comply with the standard conditions of supervised release as set forth at 18 USC §3583;
8. That the defendant shall participate in a mental health treatment program under the direction of the U.S. Probation Office;
9. That the defendant shall refrain from gambling at poker machines and is restricted from entering poker establishments;
10. That the defendant shall perform 100 hours of community service under the direction of the United States Probation Office; and
11. That the defendant is authorized to travel for necessary medical treatment expected to begin on January 25, 2010. That the defendant shall have possession of his passport to travel to the Philippines for medical treatment; but, that the defendant shall immediately surrender his passport to the Clerk of Court upon his return to Saipan.
The sentencing report also said that the "Court adopted the presentence investigation report, and addendum, and instructed the Clerk to file the Amended report, under seal, and that the Amended report, be made available if the judgment is appealed." The probation officer’s recommendation was also placed under seal.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is not even shocking anymore. Next we'll have a story saying they were having an affair and the papers will print the photos. WHY IN H would the law enforcements officials go along with this. Throw them and the gov in jail!

Hey feds? Do you get it now? The local gvt. can't run the local system!

Anonymous said...

What did the governor's wife say? Did they ask for a comment from her too?

Anonymous said...

You can bet the US Marshalls did not agree to this release. What is the agreement between the Marshalls the jail and local law enforcement? Impeach this governor. NO MORE YEARS!

HUH? said...

I can't believe law officials would go along with this. Everyone involved should be fired if they aren't arrested.

Anonymous said...

THE JUDGE DENIED HER BAIL AND THE GOVERNOR LETS HER OUT. THIS IS AGAINST THE LAW. ARREST HIM!

Anonymous said...

The governor has to know he violated a court order taking her out. There is a bigger story here.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Who told the US officials that the little birdie flew the coop?

The Saipan Blogger said...

This is the most ridiculous story every, but on an island where dealing drugs results in six months of house arrest, what do you expect?

Anonymous said...

How much did this massage cost the taxpayers. Four local officials to escort the criminal, gas for the ride, and what other costs. Is she licensed? Is she legal? Does she have papers?

The Saipan Blogger said...

As if jail wasn't bad enough, as part of her punishment she had to rub down the governor's naked body? Ew.

Anonymous said...

Who else gets out of jail to do favors for the governor or others...IMPEACH FITIAL.

Anonymous said...

Try spinning this willens and schemer. Come on, let's hear you justify this one.HA!

Anonymous said...

PLEASE tell me that this is a federal crime. PLEASE tell me he can go to jail for releasing a prisoner. PLEASE USAG PUT HIM BEHIND BARS! Hey -can the oAG arrest him? What if I want a massage and pull her out? I would be arrested.

Anonymous said...

Our prayers are answered at last.

Anonymous said...

"Hey -can the oAG arrest him?"

No, they work for the Gov.

Anonymous said...

The Governor and his hanger ons usually get serviced at the Kimchi Cabana in Garapan and the owner is Korean lady Ms. Song. They have about 20 girls from PI that take the Guv into the back room.

Give'em all green cards...sure, sure...

Wendy said...

The local law enforcement agency needs to be totally overhauled. Just this last year several police officers were arrested. How is allowing someone who has been denied bail to leave the jail in the best interest of the public? This decision to free a prisoner for any length of time should be viewed as a reflection of the governor's judgment.

Imagine how many other prisoners have been excused or allowed to be released for a variety of "reasons"; how many cases were never thoroughly investigated; how many were never prosecuted; how many prisoners got favors; how many friends of politicians were given special favors. This story is not funny at all. It is scary. It should serve as a wake up call. Isn't the community afraid of the judgment of the officials that are supposed to be protecting them? Do people see this as a violation not just of the law, but of public trust?

I am waiting to see if excuses are made (I can't even think of what a good one could be) or if real action is taken to put an end to the corruption and abuse of power.

Wendy said...

Oh, and have the officers and commissioner resigned? If not they should or they should be terminated.

Anonymous said...

Even if it is a federal crime, so what? Ice trafficking is a federal crime and all he got was a slap on the wrist.

Anonymous said...

Federal prisoners routinely fly by themselves all over the United States. Non violent offenders who are serving time IN PRISON and who are denied bail - travel solo without an escort and without restraints all across the nation. Does this sound unbelievable? What the Gov did is no big deal and isn't illegal at all.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 8:33

Yes, what a lenient sentence. Lucky for him he isn't in Florida. He'd get a harsher sentence for having marijuana. I am serious.

Anonymous said...

We made some progress the past few years but the voters collapsed and re-elected Ben, when we needed HA, Tina, and Angelo for a step in the right direction.

a wise soul said...

The CNMI should look into growing and exporting medical use marijuana. We have the ideal climate, weather, and soil. We do not cross other US lands or states to transport it and e could ship anywhere that it is legal. We could export to Amsterdam, which would put Saipan, and the CNMI, on the map in Europe, and since we would need at least one plane to fly there, which would also carry tourists. Some consider the idea crazy, but crazy is the direction our economy has moved for the entire 21st century.

Anonymous said...

Noni 8:35
"Federal prisoners routinely fly by themselves all over the United States. Non violent offenders who are serving time IN PRISON and who are denied bail - travel solo without an escort and without restraints all across the nation. Does this sound unbelievable? What the Gov did is no big deal and isn't illegal at all."
Really? Federal prisoners who don't have bail are flying around? Federal prisoners who are in jail can get out to give a massage? So I am traveling around the world on planes with federal prisoners? There are no US marshalls watching them? I could be sitting next to a prisoner on a plane who has been denied bail? It's not illegal to pull a prisoner out of prison to get a massage? So why have a judge decide if they have to be in jail? IT"S A BIG DEAL! BIG! HUGE! ENORMOUS! IT'S A BIG DEAL!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for setting him straight, Noni 8:56. It is absolutely a big deal, and I am absolutely outraged. The lady was in prison in the first place because she was determined to be a flight risk. The Governor and DOC evidently didn't take that seriously... that's a huge gargantuan big fat scary deal to me.

Anonymous said...

Are these officials who brought a prisoner to the governor involved in forcing the prisoner to give a massage to the governor? Why four? Did they participate in the "massage" or watch the prisoner massage the governor? Did he go behind closed doors with the prisoner? Was she giving the massage willingly? Was she forced? Was she afraid to leave the jail? What kind of massage was this?

Wendy said...

Anonymous 8:56 and 9:04

Yes, it's a big deal! If a judge's power can be dismissed, mocked, ignored or overturned by someone in power then why even have judges and jails? It HAS to be illegal to disobey a court order. It's a big deal.

The Saipan Blogger said...

He paid her: He broke the law by hiring an illegal alien

He didn't pay her: He used his position to unjustly enrich himself by availing of a free service

She gave him a massage: are you allowed to have a job on the "outside" when you are in prison?

She gave him a "massage": Don't even want to go there

He had to "talk" with her before the trial: I hope she knows how to sing

I imagine the feds are either laughing their asses off or are really, really pissed.

Anonymous said...

Borrowing from Kat Williams, what is illegal in the mainland is known as a "hookup" in Saipan. Welcome to a land where laws are meant to be broken.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for the Variety and blogs. The Tan paper won't cover this unless it becomes so BIG (HEY GUYS IT'S BIG) that they have to write something.

Dear Feds, said...

We know you enjoyed the Inauguration of our esteemed governor. Wasn't he just wonderful? And how about that wife? We are so proud of him and his wise choices.

We also are so proud of our not corrupt labor system, our not corrupt law enforcement, and our not corrupt executive branch. In fact, we know you have seen such wonderful leadership that you will let our esteemed governor run the transitional guest worker program. We are so capable.

Your trusted friends,

Deanne and Howie

P.S. That Variety is a bad newspaper. Never believe anything they print.

The Saipan Blogger said...

Please, please, please, Middle Road post something about this on your blog.

Anonymous said...

Remember that article about prostitutes being arrested and then being released the next day? Did they get out because someone needed their services?

Anonymous said...

Please can someone post her mug shot?

Anonymous said...

What massage parlor did this woman work for? Does anyone know anything about her? She had to have some connections to arrange for the trip to Guam.

Anonymous said...

This is a huge black eye for the CNMI. Another laughing stock episode. What was the campaign slogan this time?

Anonymous said...

How can Fitial ever show his face in public again? I wonder what Inos is saying to him. What a way to start the next five years. Or maybe it won't be five years.

Saipan Writer said...

There are some important aspects no one is commenting on.

1. The feds are using the CNMI DOC as their holding ground. That's because they don't have one here, and the Governor wouldn't negotiate for leasing the CNMI's immigration detention facility to them.

2. Are the feds paying the CNMI DOC/DPS for housing these detainees? There must be some federal government contract involved, right? Who is responsible for following it?

3. 2 days down, 4 years 363 days to go.


This is really scummy and I hope it makes the U.S. newspapers.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Saipan Writer. It's been sent to Washington Post and the New York Times.

Anonymous said...

This governor should be joining the former Lt. Governor in federal prison soon.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a copy of the governor's inauguration speech? It used to be printed in the papers.

hit the spot said...

Does the treatment of the prisoner (having her massage the gov) count as torture? She may get off.

Anonymous said...

There must be more to the story than meets the eye...and while this lady may be guilty, being taken out of jail to work or perform services by force or for pay may help her case on the original charge.

Too strange...

Anonymous said...

In any other "civilized" place, something like this would mean the end of a political career.

This is disgusting in every sense of the word.

Not sure what kind of "massage" was given. Hopefully this incident will lead to a "happy ending".

Anonymous said...

What has happened to our island?

This incident reminds me of the stories of Nazi Germany. The Nazi officers used to have the Gestapo pull Jewish women out of the prison camps and have them carted off to secret houses where the officers would then have their way with the ladies before return them to the prison camps.

Since when can a sitting official or anyone take a prison out in the wee hours of the morning in order to have services rendered by that prisoner?

How could this have occurred here? Not only under the watchful eyes of our local law enforcement but WITH THEIR ASSISTANCE!

"Captain Arnold K. Seman, Captain Georgia Cabrera, Officer Abigail Borja, and Commissioner Aldan escorted the Defendant to the Governor’s residence in the early morning hours on January 8"

Alas, this ship may be far to gone to save!

Anonymous said...

He brought a HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIM that was in local custody as per a federal bust to his HOME for physical services to be carried out by her on him in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

What on earth do you need to do to be taken in?

For a massage? She was his only option?

Even if we buy that garbage story, she would have been long gone and NOT AVAILABLE if her boat had made it to Guam.

The boat was stopped. She was supposed to be safe from trafficking violations and having to preform services that she did not want to. Feds stopped the ship but our Governor continued the abuse.

We are lost.

Someone make the BAD MAN STOP!

Anonymous said...

http://www.facebook.com/notes/angelo-oconnor-villagomez/governor-fitial-should-resign/248727362303

Click here to see response from the first family, courtesy of the Governor's daughter!

Anonymous said...

HEY, GUYS! CAN'T SLEEP? FEELING A LITTLE STIFF?

Check out the CNMI Department of Corrections' new Escort/Massage service. Our girls are captives to your every whim 24/7. Outcalls only. Very reasonable rates.

Happy Ending? No problemo! Just tell the guards what you want!

Don't be a prisoner to your pain. Call DOC TONIGHT!

Anonymous said...

The story is going to be whether or not this governor STEPS DOWN. Whether or not the people of the CNMI force him out of office. This will be national news and maybe international news. A governor taking a prisoner to his house for his own pleasure? HE MUST GO! GOOD BYE EVIL MAN! No one is making excuses or defending him. I think this is finally it.

Anonymous said...

It is known in every corner of the island that Fitial and other elected officials go to back rooms in bars for sex or to massage parlors for sex. He had his own back room in Orchids for his personal pleasure. It's even in the book Nobodies! Funny how people "pretend" not to know that their officials are sleazy sex maniacs. Look at what happened in the mainland to other governors who had sex scandals. They were gone. Fitial need to go.

Anonymous said...

I am waiting for tomorrow's headlines. What will they be? I know what they should be. "Governor Steps Down"

Anonymous said...

Nice. Our governor is not just corrupt but he is now up there with other governors who abuse their power for sex and pleasure. Who the hell takes a woman out of jail to get a massage in the middle of the night? No one except the most arrogant person who thinks he is above the law. Guess what governor. You are out. And if you don't step down you will be brought down.

Anonymous said...

I have back problems and I go to A DOCTOR. This is a huge abuse of power. IMPEACH!

Anonymous said...

Who owns the boat?

How long was the lady here?

What was she doing during her stay here, prior to being busted by the feds?

Was she working legally?

How long has she known Fitial, and what was the nature of their relationship?

How long has she been involved in human trafficking?

Who else does she work with?

Was Fitial involved in human trafficking too?

Why didn't the Tribune cover the story?

So many questions, so few answers.

the teacher said...

Chamberonomics 171...only on Saipan

CONGRATULATIONS are in order for every newly elected member of the 17th Legislature and the community hopes your term is marked with success and prosperity for the people of the commonwealth.

Your opening challenge is to deliver the people a manageable budget. The current economy will force austerity measures, including salary cuts for friends, relatives, and neighbors, or worse, a looming reduction in forces. This economic climate and fairness demand you reduce the astronomical discretionary spending accounts in your control.

The State of Texas pays its representatives and senators $600 per month or $7,200 per year and one senator there represents an average of 673,000 people. They are in session from 60 to 140 days a year. The 15,000 voters of the CNMI can’t pay 29 lawmakers up to $100,000 each in yearly unaccountable spending money in our crumbling economy, and to continue such squander is theft and fraud against the people here. Austerity in our Legislature is warranted and should be incorporated into the 2010 budget.

Historically, our Legislature was overfunded by the textile industry so that garment manufactures could dictate policy to our lawmakers in exchange for absolute loyalty from lawmakers. Garment revenues are gone, and there is no justification for CNMI senators receiving discretionary funny money, while friends, neighbors, relatives, and other government employees face layoffs and salary cuts.

This austerity measure will improve the commonwealth by helping to make our government manageable and viable for the future. If you do not take action, a courageous local citizen will garner signatures and place this on the ballot, and the voters can again improve the CNMI, without legislative consent.

The 17th has already been baptized with an immediate and pressing decision to make. The CNMI governor has shamed the commonwealth and kept us the laughing stock of America by removing a federal prisoner for a back rub or some service, so if you have one once of integrity, you will impeach the governor before he is indicted, but if your members are of little merit, history will hold you accountable for your inaction and ineptitude.

We sincerely wish that the legacy of the 17th Legislature is marked with deep love and devotion to the future of the people here.

RON HODGES
Puerto Rico, Saipan

Captain said...

He doesn't have the power to commute a Fed prison sentence, but pulls a Fed. prisoner out of detention that was put there by a Fed judge that was a "flight risk" and was the "ring leader" in the "smuggling attempt" that also has previous ties to the Gov.
The security and detainment was entrusted to the local prison system to maintain the prisoners safety and security.

The top "four high ranking employees of the prison system along with CNMI Govt vehicles were used to transport this "prisoner" to his residence to perform what ever was required of her. If it was behind closed doors it could have been much more than a regular message.
There definably has to be something that will come down on this one.
"but the Feds don't like me, that is why they are out to get me" Isn't that what he said along these line when his driver was arrested?
And things get better. But nobody in the legislature or anywhere else would dare to speak out on this one or anything else this fool does.
Well people you who voted this "clown" back in so for sure the world is laughing at the voters thinking also that they were so naive and stupid to allow this guy to remain in power.
Unfortunately they are also laughing at the whole people of the NMI.
Well probably the planes to the mainland will start filling up with more residence trying to put distance between them and Saipan.

Anonymous said...

Where were Howie and Schemer? Surely one of them could have saved BenTan further embarrassment and given him a massage. Perhaps they just want to represent BenTan in the District Court hearing which should be a media circus!Both seem to thrive on controversy and enjoy the media limelight.They just blew $1M on a useless lawsuit and tried to spin in by stating that it was a partial victory as the regulations had to be republished by the feds. Isn't it time for them to move on?

Anonymous said...

Boy Oh Boy! All you losers are really enjoying this, aren't you??

Well, don't get disappointed if wishes are not granted!

the teacher said...

5 more years noni

Proven leadership

Proven experience

Everyone should have enough for a book after this term

Anonymous said...

This thread is replete with rank speculation and false statements of fact.

For the record, the Defendant was in the custody of DoC the entire time.

Governor Fitial and DoC were acting in full accord with applicable law the entire time.

Time will make this clear. But have fun with your High Tech Lynching, Part II.

Anonymous said...

6;$3 Attorneys like you will be the downfall of civilization

Anonymous said...

As Ms. Cheng was in DoC custody the entire time, there was no violation whatsoever of any district court pre-trial order.

This matter concerns neither sex nor pleasure, no matter how much the dirty trick haters of Governor Fitial would like to make it so.

It is about spinal stenosis (research THAT!), medicine, and alternative medicine.

Your comment upthread is well taken, “wise old soul.” Too bad Fitial's political enemies squelched the proposed medical marijuana conference in 2007. Mike Nisperos is now the Guam Public Defender, having taken his expertise and contacts in that field with him.

Anonymous said...

Noni 7:33 Complete stupidity!!!! Is that gonna be Fitial's defense? Pack you bags for the big house guv! HAHAHAHAHA!