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By Ferdie de la Torre

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Mar. 24) - Marvin Leon Guerrero, the Guam-based businessman tagged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the mastermind in the explosion that destroyed iConnect’s radio room on Mt. Tapochau, entered a guilty plea in federal court yesterday.

Leon Guerrero pleaded guilty to count one of the indictments charging him with conspiracy to commit arson.

U.S. District Court Judge Alex R. Munson accepted Leon Guerrero’s guilty plea and set the sentencing for June 29.

Munson granted attorney Stephanie Flores’s motion to allow her client, Leon Guerrero, to be transferred to a Guam jail facility while waiting for the sentencing.

Flores said her client is willing to shoulder all the transportation costs for his transfer.

Leon Guerrero, Andrew Quiambao and John Peter Reyes Mendiola were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit arson, attempted destruction of interstate commerce facility, arson: destruction of interstate commerce facility, arson: attempted destruction of government property; and arson: destruction of government property.

Leon Guerrero, owner of Communication Specialists Inc., and his counsel signed a plea agreement with the U.S. government represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Smith.

When asked by Munson to say in his words what he did, the defendant said he had asked a co-defendant to burn the iConnect site.

Conspiracy to commit arson carries a sentence of 20 years imprisonment, a mandatory minimum of five years in jail, and a maximum term of three years of supervised release.

According to the plea agreement, Leon Guerrero’s sentencing guideline range is 46 to 57 months imprisonment.

However, "given the applicable statutory mandatory minimum sentence of five years," the guideline sentence is five years imprisonment.

The plea agreement stated that the court may impose a fine of $10,000 to $100,000.

Under the agreement, Leon Guerrero agrees to pay restitution to the victims — Choice Radio Inc., owner of iConnect, and the U.S. government — in an amount to be specified by the court.

A change of plea hearing for Quiambao was set for this Friday.

According to the indictment, in late Nov. 2003, Leon Guerrero paid Quiambao and Mendiola for the purpose of destroying the iConnect facility.

The indictment stated that on Nov. 28, 2003, Quiambao and Mendiola attempted to burn down the iConnect facility.

March 24, 2004

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