Part 3: Operation Chronic: Eddie Calvo and JI Cruz named in federal drug trafficking conspiracy document

Convicted drug queenpin Audrey “Redd” Wolford told a confidential federal informant that the people protecting her drug trafficking empire during the Calvo administration went as high as the former governor of Guam, Eddie Calvo, and his chief of police, Joseph “JI” Cruz.

This is among the latest revelations in yet another federal search warrant application, released just this afternoon in the U.S. District Court of Guam.

The federal government has been unsealing a plethora of documents filed in numerous criminal cases dating back to 2015, the same year Mr. Calvo and his lieutenant governor, Ray Tenorio, empaneled the Mandana Drug Task Force. The rapid unsealing of the documents is believed by court observers to indicate the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s readiness to begin prosecuting people who have been under investigation in the federal Operation Chronic.

The operation, believed to be a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) investigation, merged into a secret Grand Jury opened by assistant U.S. Attorney Rosetta San Nicolas in Honolulu in order to avoid detection by drug traffickers, dirty cops, and politicians on Guam. Kandit has, for nearly five years, continued its coverage into the federal investigation that began to circle around the criminal indictment of former cop John “Boom” Mantanona in 2018. Mr. Mantanona’s case is sealed tight, with the only indication of movement being 12 consecutive continuances every three months that pushes back either his trial or his sentencing date.

As previously reported on Kandit, federal agents have sworn to the federal court and presented evidence showing an alleged conspiracy between Boom Mantanona and three connected and federally-convicted drug traffickers: Ms. Wolford, Vincent “Ben” Rios, and Eric Aponik. We previously reported federal allegations and forensic evidence indicating the traffickers paid Mr. Mantanona to enlist his cadre of dirty cops to shield the three traffickers from arrest, allow them to bring in millions of dollars in methamphetamine through the airport, provide them the names and hiding places of confidential informants and witnesses, and to use the Mandana Drug Task Force as a weapon to take down the three traffickers’s competitors in the drug world.

In our last report, we brought you the FBI allegations, along with the forensic evidence showing Boom Mantanona paid his cousin, now-retired police captain Ken Mantanona, to participate in the conspiracy. Among the forensic evidence were text messages indicating the Mantanonas’s alleged use of the Mandana Drug Task Force to carry out the services for which the traffickers were paying them. Mandana, at the time, fell under the direct control of Ken Mantanona, who was the division chief for the Criminal Investigation Division.

Also among the forensic evidence were messages from Boom Mantanona spread throughout the warrants indicating his close relationship with then-Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio, whom Mr. Calvo placed in charge of the GPD and the entire governmental law enforcement apparatus. Among the investigations that fell under Ken Mantanona’s command was that of Steven Seagraves, who was shot and killed by police following a shoot out. Discovered on Mr. Seagraves was a gun registered to Ray Tenorio during his days as a police officer.

The forensic evidence provided by the FBI to the federal court included several messages spread throughout Calvo and Tenorio’s second term in office showing Boom Mantanona would meet regularly with Mr. Tenorio at his office in Adelup.

According to the August 6, 2018 search warrant application, MJ-18-00100, a recording of Ms. Wolford’s conversation with a confidential informant reveals that the drug traffickers enjoyed protection that went even above Mr. Tenorio… all the way to the governor of Guam, himself.

The informant, in a 2017 discussion, asked Ms. Wolford how she could be certain that their drug trafficking activities would not be at risk, considering Boom Mantanona was a retired cop and no longer in GPD.

“He has someone inside, inside, inside,” Ms. Wolford told the informant. “He has someone in there. He’s actually the right hand for the governor – he’s the right hand for the chief of police.”

“Oh really?” the informant asks. “Yes. Yes! That’s how far [uninteligible] every time when they need something done or – they need a decision, they call him.”

Ms. Wolford was able to wield her power over the entire law enforcement apparatus, according to her own words to the informant. According to the document, on her command to Boom Mantanona, she was able to reroute the Mandana Drug Task Force from raiding a home on Nevermind Road, and directed them to raid her competitor – convicted drug felon Mark Mayo.

“I had – they had to raid, like the time [uninteligible] Nevermind Road [uninteligible] raid [unintelligible] and I called him up and said, ‘Uncle you – can you disregard that?’ And he turned around and said, ‘Red… give me someone to raid,’ I said, ‘uh… Mark Mayo.’ Then they did it.” – Transcript of Ms. Wolford’s conversation with the informant.

“I believe,” the FBI agent stated to the court, “that Wolford is advising [the informant] that in addition to Mantanona’s GPD contact, Mantanona is very close with the Governor of Guam Eddie Calvo and GPD Chief of Police Joseph Cruz and that both Governor and Chief Cruz seek Mantanona’s input on important decisions.”

The FBI alleges Mr. Mantanona’s vast network of corrupt law enforcement officers and politicians netted the former federal drug task force agent and retired police officer hundreds of thousands of dollars from the period of this operation alone. According to the documents, other cops are named in the conspiracy who allegedly assisted in the peddling of drugs and the take down of drug trafficking competitors.

This is not the final report on either this recently-unsealed search warrant application, and others. Stay tuned, as Kandit continues its investigative Operation Chronic: Guam Police Corruption series. We will continue to bring you the names of the alleged corrupt officers, and those whom the FBI accuses of being part of the single-largest police and public corruption investigation in the history of our island.


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