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Police smelled chemicals at Asan residence

By Gina Tabonares

HAGATNA, Guam (Marianas Variety, May 22, 2008) – One of the defendants in the Asan methamphetamine manufacturing case is set for sentencing after District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood accepted the defendant's guilty plea.

Christine Duenas, 28, entered a plea agreement and admitted to conspiring with three others to make the controlled substance. She is scheduled for sentencing at 9 a.m. on June 18.

Duenas was indicted with Jonathan Ninete, 27, Joshua Ulloa, 31, and Vanessa Tenorio, 29, after they were caught in an Asan residence trying to manufacture more than five grams of methamphetamine, known by the street name "ice." They were arrested when Guam police noted the odor of chemicals emitting from the residence of Ulloa.

Police located a suitcase with glassware, phosphorous, iodine, and a generator, which were used in manufacturing the drug.

[PIR editor’s note: High doses of methamphetamine produce losses in several markers of brain dopamine and serotonin neurons causing brain damage. Crystal methamphetamine, also known as "batu" and " ice," poses one of the most serious public health issues in Hawai'i and the Pacific region today. ]

The suitcase and glassware belong to Tenorio.

Ninete, who earlier entered his plea agreement, admitted that he conspired with Ulloa, Duenas, and Tenorio to manufacture "ice" from September 2007 until Jan. 7, 2008.

Ninete also admitted that he used pseudoephedrine, which he purchased on Dec. 28, 2007 from Christopher Grantham and Joshua Ulloa, to manufacture methamphetamine.

Ulloa and Grantham earlier changed their pleas and admitted to the conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

Duenas, who maintained the Asan residence, pleaded guilty to the charge of establishment of manufacturing operation, which constitutes a maximum sentence of not more than 20 years imprisonment and a half-million dollar fine. The maximum sentence for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine is from five to 40 years in jail with a $2 million fine.

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