Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 24 Oct 2019 12am







    Wednesday, October 23, 2019-2:39:10A.M.






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Fanihi poaching case co-defendant enters not guilty plea

FORMER Division of Fish and Wildlife employee David A. Santos entered a not guilty plea to all charges contained in the superseding indictment relating to the fanihi-poaching case.

Yesterday, Santos filed a waiver of appearance at arraignment through his counsel Michael Dotts in the District Court for the NMI.

Understanding his rights, Santos told the court, “I do hereby freely and voluntarily waive my right to be present at my arraignment on the Superseding Indictment and to have it read to me in open court.”

The co-defendant has the right to appear personally at his arraignment on the superseding indictment pursuant to Rule 43 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

He also has the right to have the superseding indictment read to him in an open court pursuant to Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

The superseding indictment charged former Rota customs officer Albert A. Taitano and former Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Santos of one count of conspiring to unlawfully take and transport a threatened species, one count of taking a threatened species, one count of transporting a threatened species taken in violation of law.

Santos and Taitano were to forfeit to the U.S. all wildlife taken or possessed in violation of the Endangered Species Act and its regulations and all firearms and other equipment used to aid the taking or possessing of wildlife in violation of the Endangered Species Act and its regulations.

The defendants were also to surrender a Mossberg .410 gauge shotgun with serial number P076708 and a Remington .410 gauge shotgun with serial number R129099H.

In last Wednesday’s arraignment, a scheduling conference and motions hearing in federal court, the court granted the defendant’s motion for a continuance of the jury trial.

The jury trial will start on Sept. 30, 2013.

The court also denied co-defendant Taitano’s motion to compel production of Henthorn-Type Material.

In a Feb. 25 filing, Taitano through his counsel Bruce Berline asked the prosecution to examine all personnel files and internal affairs files of law enforcement witnesses that will testify at trial and provide any exculpatory or impeachment information contained in these files to the defense or to the court for an in camera review.

The court denied Taitano’s motion because plaintiff complied and the defendant was satisfied.

Santos’ motion for joinder in pretrial motions was granted by the court.

A hearing is set for May 10 at 9 a.m. in federal court on the following pending motions: defendants’ omnibus discovery motion that seeks to compel discovery in response to pending discovery requests; to compel Brady discovery; to compel disclosures of expert witnesses and expert testimony; to compel statement of intentions pursuant to Rule 12(b)(4)(B); to compel production of Jencks material in advance of trial; motion for disclosure of each co-conspirator statement the government intends to introduce at trial and request for a pretrial hearing on the admissibility of each statement; motion for a Daubert hearing and to exclude testimony; a motion to compel production of expert disclosures in compliance with Rules 16 (a)(1)(G) and a motion for discovery pursuant to Rule 16 of Fed.R.Crim.P.