Maui Man Convicted of Meth Distribution to Molokaʻi
A 33-year-old Wailuku man was found guilty by a federal jury today of possession and conspiring to distribute methamphetamine from Maui to Molokaʻi, justice officials said.
The conviction against James K. Tagupa, was reached after a four-day trail in US District Court in Honolulu.
According to the Justice Department, Tagupa was found guilty of conspiring to distribute and possess, with intent to distribute, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine in August, 2012.
Justice officials say evidence established in court showed that Tagupa also delivered 444 grams of pure methamphetamine which was intercepted during a traffic stop conducted by the Maui Police Department.
US Attorneys for the District of Hawaiʻi, say evidence presented at trial showed that Tagupa agreed with other individuals to distribute meth sent from Maui to Molokaʻi on private vessels.
Justice officials say a court authorized wiretap conducted by the FBI revealed that Tagupa allegedly discussed how to conceal the drugs for transport by boat to Molokaʻi.
Authorities say Tagupa faces up to life in prison with a mandatory minimum 10 year term when he is sentenced on April 6, 2015 before US District Judge Michael Seabright.