Guilty plea in 3-pound meth case on Guam

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HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Thirty-year-old auto mechanic Richard A. Gapasin Jr. pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted possession of 50 or more grams of meth with the intent to distribute, under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Local and federal law enforcement took Richard Gapasin into custody at the U.S. Postal Service Guam Main Facility in Barrigada on Dec. 17, 2019.  Contributed photo

Gapasin was arrested outside of the Barrigada post office in December 2019 after picking up a package containing nearly 3 pounds of methamphetamine mailed from California.

He initially pleaded not guilty.

On Wednesday, during a hearing before District Court of Guam Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood, Gapasin somberly replied “guilty,” when asked how he would plead to the crime.

Under federal guidelines, the defendant is facing 10 years to life in prison as well as a fine not to exceed $10 million.

Part of the plea deal stipulates that Gapasin will not contest any amount of restitution the court imposes.

A status hearing will be held on May 18.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Leon Guerrero is representing the federal government in the case.

Defense attorney Briana Kottke told Judge Tydingco-Gatewood that she likely will file a motion soon to request her client be released, pending sentencing, to a third-party custodian.

The defendant’s plea agreement remains under seal.

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