A man who was found to be in possession of methamphetamine is awaiting his trial in May, after his original trial date was postponed due to medical treatment in Taiwan.
Mr. Burton Wenty is charged on one count of Possession of More Than One Gram of a Controlled Substance, after a search of his residence and auto-mechanics shop by the Narcotics Enforcement Agency (NEA) uncovered large amounts of meth and drug paraphernalia in April 2018. His four-day trial is scheduled for May 24th to 28th, 2021.
Last November, Mr. Wenty was hospitalized for a heart condition soon before his trial date of December 1, leading his legal counsel to move for a postponement on the grounds that Mr. Wenty “could not physically or mentally proceed with the trial”. On his doctor’s referral, Mr. Wenty was flown to Taiwan for medical treatment, and returned on January 20, 2021.
Upon his return, Mr. Wenty was placed under house arrest until January 29 to allow for the seven-day quarantine period, and requested to remain at home until his court date to allow for “careful monitoring” of his health conditions and medications. However, the request was opposed by the Prosecuting Attorney, who cited evidence of pictures uploaded on social media of Mr. Wenty occupying bars in Taiwan, without wearing masks.
“The Republic and the Court were assured he was in dire health straits and would be strictly monitored in Taiwan,” states the Prosecuting Attorney’s response to the request. “The Republic does not trust the defendant’s assertions about his health or about his willingness to comply with any rules handed down from the Court.”
Following the initial charges against him, Mr. Wenty posted $2,500 cash bail in September 2019, allowing for his temporary release from prison. However, his bail was revoked following his arrest for drunk driving in September of last year. The Republic’s motion to revoke bail states that the responding police officers said that Mr. Wenty was driving drunk and recklessly on his way to Meyuns, and once he was stopped he swore that “something bad” would happen to the officers if they did not release him.
According to the Prosecutor’s response, following the Court’s revocation of his bail, Mr. Wenty was suddenly taken ill “on the very night he was ordered to jail”.
The Plaintiff has requested that the drug analyst from the Forensic Science Division of the Guam Police Department who positively identified the meth be allowed to testify during the May trial via ZOOM, due to COVID restrictions.
Possession of More Than One Gram of a Controlled Substance carries a minimum jail sentence of 15 years and a fine of not less than $10 thousand.
Mr. Wenty has previously faced conviction for trafficking in meth and for possession of a firearm, and has allegedly been named by Ms. Pamela Wasisang, a woman charged for drug-trafficking, for paying her to provide him with drugs.