Hagatña, Guam – SHAWN N. ANDERSON, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, announced that defendants Francisco Herrera Salas, age 43, from Barrigada, Guam and Joseph Mesa Babauta, age 48, from Agat, Guam, were sentenced each to serve 108 months in federal prison. They were convicted of Attempted Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The Court also ordered both defendants to serve 3 years of supervised release following imprisonment and to pay a mandatory $100 special assessment fee. In addition, defendants convicted of a federal drug offense may no longer qualify for certain federal benefits.
In December 2020, federal agents intercepted three priority mail packages containing methamphetamine, one of which was addressed to “Frankie Salas.” The Salas package contained 1,781 grams of methamphetamine, which was replaced with a sham substance. During a controlled delivery, Salas claimed the package and drove to a location in Agat. Agents were alerted that the package had been opened. They also saw Babauta driving a vehicle away from the scene. Agents then stopped the vehicle and found the sham substance from the Salas package on the front seat. Soon after, agents stopped Salas in the same vehicle he used to pick up the package from the post office. Both Babauta and Salas had clue spray on their hands and clothing, indicating they had opened the Salas package or handled the contents.
“The Postal Inspection Service continues to interdict drug trafficking in our mail system,” stated United States Attorney Anderson. “We will aggressively prosecute those associated with this illicit activity. As this case demonstrates, a conviction under federal law can result in substantial penalties.”
The United States Postal Inspection Services, Drug Enforcement Administration Los Angeles Field Division – Guam Office, and Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency investigated this matter.
This case was prosecuted by Stephen F. Leon Guerrero and Benjamin K. Petersburg, Assistant United States Attorneys in the District of Guam.