CASE DROPPED AGAINST GUAM ‘ICE’ DEALER

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By Steve Limtiaco

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Oct. 26) – Federal prosecutors in Guam on Monday dropped their case against a Sinajana man accused of distributing methamphetamine, but they still have the option of taking him to trial in the future.

Police raided James Robert Lujan's home in May and allegedly found 8.8 pounds of the drug "ice" and nearly US$90,000 in cash.

His attorney, Curtis Van de Veld, has argued that the search was illegal and asked that all evidence be suppressed, according to court documents.

According to a motion filed by Van de Veld last month, police had a search warrant for 253A Pale Kieran Hickey Drive, but improperly searched 253 Pale Kieran Hickey Drive as well. It is a single building divided into two separate premises, according to Van de Veld.

Prosecutors responded in court documents, stating Lujan was renting the entire property. Even if he wasn't, the search was legal, they stated.

Van de Veld also has argued that police broke Lujan's wrist and denied him medical treatment, so anything he told police should be suppressed as well.

"Defendant was advised that if he cooperated (then) they could go to the hospital," he wrote.

Authorities coerced Lujan into making an involuntary statement, according to Van de Veld. "Lujan felt that having already given evidence against himself, the withholding of further information was pointless."

Federal prosecutors have argued that the search was legal and that Lujan confessed to police even after receiving medical treatment for his injury.

Lujan allegedly "gave an extensive oral statement of his drug trafficking activities," after he had been read his rights, according to prosecutors.

According to prosecutors, police searched the residence after an informant called an unnamed person to purchase "ice" and the person drove to the Sinajana residence to get it.

October 26, 2005

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

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