March 7, 2013
Commonwealth Ports Authority Police Chief Jordan Lee Ilo Kosam, former Fitial body guard and driver, DPS officer Jermaine Joseph Wabol Nekaifes, and CPA Capt. John Taisacan Rebuenog were charged with conspiracy to commit theft of services, conspiracy to commit obstructing justice by interference with service of process, conspiracy to obstruct justice by interference with a law enforcement officer or witness, obstructing justice by interference with a law enforcement officer or witness, obstructing justice by interference with service of process, and misconduct in public office. Additional charges were filed against CPA Police Chief Kosam who instructed CPA Captain Palacios to throw the summons in the trash can.
The bail that was originally set at $25,000 was lowered by the court to $5,000 and the trio had to surrender their passports.
Hopefully, these officers have been, or will be, suspended from DPS. Officers who violate the law should not be collecting paychecks, should not be wearing badges and should not be carrying weapons.
DPS Commissioner James Deleon Guerrero removed Anciceto Ogumoro as Police Director. His brother, Ambrosio Ogumoro, the leader of the DPS thug squad, remains as the DPS Deputy Commissioner. He is reportedly in Canada and scheduled to return to the CNMI on March 17th.
The Saipan Tribune reported that arrest warrants were also issued for Ambrosio Ogumoro and fugitive Edward Buckingham. Benigno Fitial should also be arrested, but there was no mention of a warrant for his arrest.
It is clear that the officers and others involved in providing protection for Buckingham were following orders from former Governor Benigno Fitial. DPS Detective Elias Saralu was ordered by Ambrosio Ogumoro not to serve the penal summons to Buckingham, and also received a call from Fitial who asked him he told him to serve the summons.
The Saipan Tribune reported that OPA chief investigator Juan Santos stated that cell phone records of key DPS officials and Fitial revealed that they coordinated the obstruction of justice and escape of Buckingham.
The loyal members of the DPS thug squad, like Fitial, believed that they were above the law. Rebuenog even assaulted a KSPN reporter and Nekaiefes mocked a Marianas Variety reporter in a threatening way. The three officers that entered the court yesterday weren't so cocky with the shackles and their own police escorts.