Law and No Order

August 4, 2010

"Gungate," the case of Vicente Aldan, the husband of former Commissioner of the Department of Corrections Dolores Aldan, is winding to a close with Superior Court Associate Judge David Wiseman "purging" Aldan's contempt charge. Aldan was held in contempt for not disclosing the whereabouts of the gun he used in a domestic violence case against his former common law wife.

Aldan first denied he knew where the gun was, later said that Tinian police took it and finally admitted that the weapon was a handgun from a female Saipan police officer who had been dating Aldan's nephew.

The Marianas Variety reported:

Aldan told the court that the handgun was given to him by his nephew who received it from a female police officer who had failed to turn over the weapon when it was recalled.

Aldan provided in open court the name of his nephew and the female police officer.

Aldan told the court that DPS had already confiscated the gun and was attempting to cover the mishandling of the weapon in order to protect its officers.

“While there are still some inconsistencies regarding [Aldan’s] story, the court finds that defendant’s further incarceration will yield no result,” Wiseman said.
So an officer gives a weapon to her boyfriend instead of surrendering it? Then police in Tinian took the gun to cover up the fact that it was used in the domestic violence case? Why doesn't DPS know where their weapons are? Was this Saipan police officer charged?

Police Detective on Trial
Another police officer, Detective Christopher Leon Guerrero, is on trial for alleged "extortion under color of official right."  According to the complaint, he used his position as a police officer to obtain money from the driver of an illegal taxicab, in exchange for returning the vehicle after an arrest in July 2009. He allegedly took $500 from the cab driver. The cash was given to Leon Guerrero inside the police station and the car was returned.

The unlicensed cab driver was a former garment factory worker and was in the CNMI illegally after he was refused a transfer when the garment factory closed. He later became an informant for the FBI.

In September 2009 the informant arranged for another illegal cab driver to have his vehicle returned in exchange for paying Leon Guerrero the sum of $300. After that transaction the informant requested that the detective have the case dismissed. Leon Guerrero agreed at the price of $500, which according to the complaint, was made in two payments.

The FBI agent testified that Leon Guerrero has a propensity to accept bribes.

The Saipan Tribune reported that Leon Guerrero's defense attorney, David Banes, called police officer Regino Celis and Sgt. Sylvan Rangamar to testify. Celis testified that some officers call him "superman."

Corrections Officer Case Dismissed
The domestic violence case against former DOC officer Jesse R. Babauta was dismissed without prejudice because the wife-victim is "missing."  Babauta's attorney, Joaquin Torres, claimed that the victim had "already signed a notice not to prosecute the case."

What does that mean - "missing?"  No one knows where this person is?  There was no press coverage of a hunt for the "missing" victim. The Saipan Tribune reported that " the alleged victim could not be found for six months now." Doesn't it seem that someone (maybe the DPS) should be looking for this person, especially considering that the alleged abuser has a violent history and made threats that he would kill her?

In October 2009, Jesse R. Babauta was charged with two counts of assault and battery, one count of assault, one count of interfering with a domestic violence report, and one count of criminal coercion. The Saipan Tribune reported:
Hasselback said the defendant told the victim he would kill her by locking her in a closet and depriving her of food and water until she dies.

Babauta allegedly told the victim he would use his position as a Corrections officer to get her arrested if she called the police.

The prosecutor said the defendant also punched the victim in the head and pushed her to the ground, causing her to scrape her knees and legs.

In 2007, the OAG charged Babauta for pointing a gun at a taxi driver, who had just dropped off Babauta's then girlfriend at the defendant's house in As Teo.

In March 2008, the jurors rendered a verdict finding Babauta not guilty on the charge of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Superior Court Associate Judge David Wiseman also found Babauta not guilty of assault and battery, but convicted him of disturbing the peace.
(Read more here.)


Anonymous said...

Wendy, In the Aldan case this was on Tinian, and the female cop was from Tinian.
But the rest of your article and points is correct, and also truly amazing why nobody is looking for the "missing wife"

Wendy said...

Anonymous 7:14

Thanks for the information/correction.

I wondered about that, but the newspaper article said the female police officer was from Saipan and the nephew, who was the police officer's boyfriend, was from Tinian. The article also said that the names of both the police officer and nephew were mentioned in "open court."

From the Marianas Variety: "Aldan has been on temporary release since July 8, 2010 after he submitted a sworn declaration that he received the handgun he used against his former partner from a female Saipan police officer who was dating Aldan’s nephew."

So, was the officer suspended or disciplined?

Yes, why is someone not looking for a person who has been missing for six months? It's just incredible! I am amazed that the press is not picking up on this.