HAGATNA, Guam — Gov. Eddie Calvo signed the commutations of two men late Saturday, according to a news release issued by the governor’s office.
Two convicted criminals — non-U.S. citizens who have committed deportable offenses and have served a majority of their time — were transferred to federal detention facilities. They were identified and presented by U.S. immigration officials, said Calvo.
Calvo said that the commutations are dependent on their deportation, and has asked the feds to “move swiftly.” It should take about two weeks for them to leave Guam, he said.
Calvo spent Sunday afternoon at the beach. He made his round at the Gov. Joseph Flores Beach Park, where thousands of government employees celebrated Labor Day. He talked at length with a handful of employees and leaders who work in public safety, and thanked them all for their service.
“The federal government are the only ones that can deport,” said Calvo, “but they’re not doing their job. I’m doing their jobs for them. But I can’t say the word ‘deportation’ … but it’s having the same effect.
“I’m using my powers as a governor, and we’re getting some cooperation from the federal authorities, on particularly the (convicts) that are in federal detainer.”
Calvo added he’s working with U.S. Immigration and U.S. Customs on criminal removal, to ease the impact the criminals have on government systems and the Department of Corrections.
Alfredo Felijar Nicolas Jr., a Philippine national, was convicted in 2012 of second-degree criminal sexual conduct as a first-degree felony. Nicolas was sentenced to seven years in prison with two years suspended.
Dwight Luther, an FSM national, was charged with family violence, criminal sexual conduct and child abuse. He was convicted in 2012 of second-degree criminal sexual conduct as a first-degree felony and was sentenced to five years in prison. He also served time in prison previously for vehicular homicide and was released in 2011.
Of the seven total criminals that Calvo removed from the local Department of Corrections, Nicolas is the first one from the Philippines. The prior five criminals — each presented with a one-way ticket back to Chuuk — hailed from the Federated States of Micronesia.
Calvo’s recent actions have sparked community debate, a quiet protest and response from FSM leaders.
“Unfortunately, I missed a young lady who did this silent protest … this is not about picking one ethnicity or not. For me, the most important thing is keeping the peace in our island and ensuring all the people of Guam are safe.”
With their commutation and custody transfer, the federal government now shoulders the cost of housing the two individuals. The average cost of housing each inmate and detainee at the Department of Corrections is almost $100 a day.
“Much of what has happened, that has led to an overcrowded prison, is because the federal government has not done their work in so many different areas,” said Calvo. “I’m trying to help them out.”