Terlaje agrees to help Feds to take down others

Joshua Keith Terlaje, 39, has agreed to help the federal government bring down other criminals in exchange for a recommendation of leniency at his sentencing before a federal judge. Mr. Terlaje and the United States Attorney for Guam and the NMI on May 2, entered into a sealed plea agreement, when Mr. Terlaje pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms.

The case was unsealed in the U.S. District Court of Guam today, meaning the federal government no longer needed to keep Mr. Terlaje’s possible cooperation against others a secret. It is a signal his cooperation may be over, and his case may move toward sentencing.

On the evening of March 12, 2021 – as previously reported on Kandit – local conservation officers arrested Mr. Terlaje along with Vincent A. Flores on suspicion of illegal hunting. The officers found two 12-gauge shot guns along with Federal ammunition, according to the plea agreement, which the pair allegedly tried to conceal in the grass near their truck.

Mr. Terlaje “confirmed the two rifles [law enforcement] found were the ones he received from C.T..” the plea agreement states. The U.S. Attorney’s Office normally conceals and references by initials only the identities of people who either remain under investigation, or are confidential sources of information or confidential defendants.

The plea agreement, which Mr. Terlaje signed, states he waived his right to remain silent to the conservation officers.

“Defendant advised that he was at a barbeque and the subject of hunting came p. Defendant told the guys at the barbeque he wanted to try hunting and asked who had hunting rifles,” the plea agreement states. “Defendant said C.T. offered him two rifles because C.T. does not hunt anymore. When asked if the guns found were guns Defendant received from C.T., Defendant said, ‘Yes it was.'”

One of the rifles,  however, was registered to “J.A.F.,” and it was not reported stolen nor missing. However the last time J.A.F. registered this firearm was on December 29, 1995.”

Mr. Terlaje was convicted in local court in 2018 of a 2018 felony burglary case. Felons are not allowed to possess firearms.

If Mr. Terlaje continuously tests negative for drugs and follows his release conditions through the sentencing period, and depending upon the help he provides to federal law enforcement against other criminal actors, the USAO may recommend substantial downward departure in his sentence to the court.

“The Defendant must provide information and assistance in the federal investigation and prosecution of others who have the same as or greater involvement that the Defendant’s involvement in violations of the law,” the plea agreement states. “The Defendant understands agrees to participate in full debriefings by federal investigative agencies about the Defendant’s knowledge of illegal conduct, at times and places to be decided by these agencies.”

Mr. Terlaje’s plea agreement clauses for substantial assistance differ greatly from other defendants’ clauses for the same. In Mr. Terlaje’s plea agreement, he agrees to submit to polygraph tests to help law enforcement determine whether he is telling the truth about the information he provides against other people.

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