Stop Federal Funds to Corrupt DPS

January 13, 2013

In any other U.S. locality a corrupt police department like the one in Saipan would be investigated and cleaned up by both the Governor's Office and the Office of the Attorney General. However, this will not happen since both CNMI Governor Fitial and the CNMI Office of the Attorney General have had a role in perpetuating the corruption and in ensuring cover-ups in local law enforcement agencies and in important criminal cases. There will be no end to the corruption in DPS since the governor and past and present personnel at the OAG were, or are, presently involved in using the DPS personnel as their own personal mafia-like thug squad. They are being used to carry out their own illicit activities or to cover-up illicit activities of DPS personnel.

In any other U.S. locality a local law enforcement agency would not be allowed to employ officers who broke the law.  In any other U.S. locality a local law enforcement agency could not hire or rehire personnel with criminal records. Yet, not only are there criminals in the CNMI Department of Public Safety (some extremely dangerous), but Governor Fitial has picked two brothers with criminal records to alternate in the position of acting DPS commissioner.

The federal government must step in and clean up this pig pen. Until then not one more federal cent should go there.

Police Officer Who Had Been Involved in Previous Domestic Abuse Case Shoots Girlfriend,  Himself

Josef P. Deleon Guerrero
Maybe the latest in a long series of bad cop incidences will catch the attention of the USDOJ.

Yesterday DPS officer Josef Deleon Guerrero shot his girlfriend then he shot himself with his government issued handgun. Deleon Guerrero is dead and his girlfriend is "in critical but stable condition" at the Commonwealth Health Center. She was reportedly shot in the shoulder.

The crime took place at True North Bar and Grill owned by Acting Police Commissioner Ambrosio Ogumoro.

In September 2011 Deleon Guerrero was involved in another domestic dispute. During that incident his girlfriend, Jenypy Naim Sambile, took his firearm while they were arguing at a picnic table at his residence. Deleon Guerrero reportedly put Sambile in a choke hold to make her release the gun, a .99m pistol. Police Officer Norris Kwon was said to have witnessed the incident.

 It is unclear from the article if an internal investigation was conducted to determine why the gun was unsecured and just how Sambile was able to seize it.  Investigators claim that Sambile found the gun inside a storage bin.

Apparently the DPS did not investigate domestic violence charges against the police officer in the July 21, 2012 incident.  From the Saipan Tribune:
On Aug. 3, Aldan called Sambile for an interview about the case, but she told him he should not talk to her because she never called 911 and that she never filed any complaint against Deleon Guerrero for any domestic violence.
The article also states:
A police report by detective Peter A. Aldan states that an off-duty police officer had contacted Patrol field supervisor John Mendiola on July 31 at 2:55am to inform him about a domestic dispute involving Sambile and her boyfriend, Deleon Guerrero, who was then off-duty, at their residence. When a police officer arrived at the residence, Deleon Guerrero was no longer there, Aldan said.
Perhaps if a police investigation had been conducted on domestic violence charges, the latest incident would not have occurred.

Sambile was charged with assault and battery and disturbing the peace. She was identified as a government employee and a martial arts competitor in a September 8, 2011 article. It is not clear if she is the same girlfriend that Delon Guerrero shot yesterday.

CNMI Law Enforcers or Law Breakers?
There are dozens of incidences of CNMI law enforcement officials breaking the law, getting arrested and (only in the CNMI) getting rehired. Many of them have committed violent crimes. How safe should anyone in the community feel knowing that criminals are charged with their protection?

It is scary that in the CNMI  so many law enforcement officers and public servants are arrested for criminal activity.  What's scarier is that too many of them are reinstated, only to commit crimes again.  The CNMI law enforcement agencies must hold the record for the number of officers arrested for criminal activities in any community of its size on U.S. soil - maybe even in any community.

All of the corruption must be embarrassing and frustrating for any DPS law enforcement official who possesses good character, is law abiding and is a true public servant.

It is obvious that the DPS is a tool for the corrupt administration.  Instead of appointing a commissioner with intelligence and integrity like Officer Jason Tarkong, Governor Fitial has continually appointed mafia-type thugs like Ramon Mafnas, Ambrosio Ogumoro and Aniceto Ogumoro.

The following is a list of some former and present Department of Public Safety and Department of Corrections law enforcement officials who have been arrested or committed non-prosecuted criminal acts over the last 10 or so years (updated from a previous post):
Unfortunately, the Saipan newspapers and media do not always follow-up on arrest stories to report the outcomes, including any sentences.  Rarely is it reported if a law enforcement official was reinstated, so the only way to know that is to read about the reinstated officer in another news story.  Case in point,  DOC officer Arnold Kaipat Seman was arrested for assaulting a detainee. Later we read that he was involved in massage gate and his title indicated he was not only reinstated, but promoted.

If you look in the papers' archives (if you have the patience to navigate them), you will see hundreds of stories titled, "ex-convict arrested," which may indicate that the CNMI laws are very weak, that the judges give out lenient sentences, or both. Nepotism and political favors play a role in the criminals being released early or officers with criminal records being reinstated.

Judges have handed down sentences that are so insignificant that a slap on the hand would be more of a consequence.  Prisoners that have been convicted of violent crimes have routinely received weekend furloughs.  There is a pattern of reinstatement of rogue police officers with the governor's blessing.

Obviously the poor quality of personnel has affected job performance. The number of unsolved cases is staggering. Burglaries, assaults, rapes, and murders remain unsolved; some are never investigated.

Parole, probation or commutation of sentences for criminals who clearly should be behind bars is common place.  There was massage gate, gun gate and parole gate, violations of the Hatch Act by personnel at the OAG and DPS. More recently high ranking local law enforcement officials were involved in aiding and abetting the escape of fugitive former AG Edward Buckingham and the assault by DPS personnel on KSPN reporter Tina Sablan.

Urgent action must be taken to end the corruption. Until the corrupt CNMI law enforcement agencies are cleaned up and reform is in place, they should not receive one more federal dollar.


Anonymous said...

This is the third known fatality in the couple months that has direct ties to True North Bar (owned by Ambrosio Ogumoro, the Acting DPS Deputy Commissioner).

On the morning that the Election Committee was counting votes from the last election, a man was found dead in his bar. They claimed that the man had a heart attack and was found at 3am in the bar seated at a table with his head on it. The man was an employee of True North. So many questions need to be asked and answered but never were. Who found him and what were they doing in the bar at 3am? Why wasn't an autopsy done? etc.

A couple weeks ago a man was beaten and ran over and killed. He was hit by two vehicles. The first fled the scene and there are disturbing rumors about who was driving the first car. The second that hit the man was driven by Ambrosio's nephew. The man that was killed happened to be at True North just two days before the death.

Now there is this shooting that occurred at True North Bar. Ambrosio is lying to the media and telling them that the couple was not at his bar. Too bad for him that there are eye witness accounts that reveal the truth. What more is this man capable of lying about?

There was one other major incident that doesn't show up on your list. It happened recently at the True North Bar. DPS held their annual Christmas Party at True North Bar. At the party things got out of control. It all started when an officer got jealous of his wife who was flirting with someone. Then another officer choked his wife and one of the firefighters who witness the the choking try to help the wife of the Officer and get him to stop choking her. The police were eventually called and they responded to Ambrosio's bar. They say a report was put together but has since been disregarded and has never been made public. To date no one has mentioned these incidents and Ambrosio has covered them up.

Ambrosio's brother Aniceto Ogumoro was there with them that evening as well.

There is no excuse for those thugs to be controlling Public Safety. The lives of every single person in the CNMI are at risk.

Anonymous said...

Federal dollars are wasted all over the CNMI. Maybe withholding federally funding in places that have clear corruption would be a good idea.

Anonymous said...

CNMI DPS police should not be allowed to carry guns. A few highly trained police should be called to a scene if necessary with a sidearm. There are a few very good hard working and responsible cops at DPS. They should be in charge and remain. Fire all the rest and replace them with cross trained unarmed firefighters. Firefighters are trained to save lives and help people - do no harm is their motto. On the other hand CNMI DPS are trained to hurt first. The island is so small that there is no need for all these separate departments.

Anonymous said...

The US Feds have stepped in the police corruption mess in Puerto Rico. American Samoa has a new chief of police appointed by the DOJ he is an American from the mainland well versed in police protocol and dealing with corruption. CNMI is next?

Anonymous said...

Agreeing with the commenters, There are so many more instances that are never brought out in the open involving police in bar fights, general harassment, intimidation of civilians, along with drunken fighting and domestic abuse.
I would bet that there are enough instances that the have been witnessed by the public that a book could be written.
I, myself could fill this whole page with instances just from Tinian about the ones that I have personally witnessed involving my past cop friends and also some that I have been involved in diffusing.
Many involving the police issued firearms. Some involving unregistered "throw down" guns.(A term for a gun used by many police all over that they will "throw down" or put in the hands of unarmed suspects that are shot and killed by police in a questionable circumstances)
As an example, look at the Ogumoro Brothers "private arsenal" of unregistered weapons and ammunition that they were "arrested" with.

How many other "illegal" weapons are out there being held by present and former cops along with the other criminal element?
It is so easy to get weapons in from Guam where they are readily available. Especially since there are many relatives and friends in customs both CNMI and Guam along with the supply and fuel ships that come between the islands on a regular schedule plus the occasional "charter" of tugs and other vessels to and from Guam

Anonymous said...

Should check out Norbert Mettao. Heard reports from one bar owner about having to call police officers to come pick him up cuz he was so drunk. Pretty sure I have read some bad report in thenpaper about him over the years.

Anonymous said...

Assault weapons are rampant on Saipan. The Russian and Chinese Mafia control the gun trade right along side the drugs. The CNMI DPS are their enforcers and informants. Don't blur the line between DPS or Immigration. They are one in the same. Come to think of it, ICE agents might be part of the problem. Once an illegal female is locked up she is fair game to both local and Federal agents.

Anonymous said...

Very long list of offences committed by the DPS officers.
This is just another "Wall of Shame" list
The CNMI seems to have far too many for such a small group of islands.