Drug Indictments Net 22 Arrests Today in Honolulu and California

December 8, 2016, 2:17 PM HST · Updated December 8, 2:35 PM
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Honolulu Police Department, photo by Wendy Osher.

Honolulu Police Department, file photo by Wendy Osher.

Twenty-two individuals were arrested today on Oʻahu and in California, after being named in six indictments returned by a federal grand jury.

The indictments charge a total of 37 defendants with a variety of drug trafficking offenses. Three of the defendants are also charged with firearm offenses.

According to the US Department of Justice, the arrests were made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Honolulu Police Department.

The indictments were returned by a federal grand jury on Nov. 30, 2016, and Dec. 7, 2016, and remained sealed until today’s arrests.

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Defendants arrested in Hawaiʻi today will have an initial appearance and arraignment before US Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi either today or on Dec. 9, 2016.

Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaiʻi, said that the indictment alleges 105 drug trafficking offenses alleged to have occurred between July 2014 and November 2016, as well as five firearm offenses. Arrested today in Hawaiʻi were:

Eliu Afoa, age 29, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi;
Laauli Amani, age 43, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi;
Gilbert Enos, age 65, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi;
Aukisitino Falaniko, age 38, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi;
Daryl Kuresa, age 36, a resident of ʻAiea, Hawaiʻi;
Duane Liupaono, age 35, a resident of ʻAiea, Hawaiʻi;
Lee Lopez, age 44, a resident of Kaneʻohe, Hawaiʻi;
Dorani Luavai, age 22, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi;
Dorothy Lupe, age 38, a resident of Mililani, Hawaiʻi;
Robert Paga, age 41, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.
Faaalo Salavea, age 42, a resident of ʻEwa Beach, Hawaiʻi;
Piliopo Salavea, age 45, a resident of ʻEwa Beach, Hawaiʻi;
Eldean Tacuban, age 46, a resident of Kaneʻohe, Hawaiʻi;
Kilisi Toliniu, age 35, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi;
Papa Tupua, age 58, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi;
Alesana Vaimasanuu, age 38, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi;
Roger Whitmarsh, age 39, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi; and
Rodney Wong, age 49, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

Arrested today in California were:

Kpel Hollins, age 34, a resident of Waipahu, Hawaiʻi;
Jeremiah Ieremia, age 26, a resident of San Francisco, California;
Jeremiah Matau, age 34, a resident of Antioch, California; and
Faanimo Paopao, age 25, a resident of San Francisco, California.

The following individuals were previously arrested in connection with the overarching investigation in this case and are currently in federal custody:

James Abalos, age 38, a resident of Honolulu;
Jessie Momosea, age 31, a resident of Honolulu;
Theresa Tuua-Montgomery, age 45, a resident of Honolulu;
Victor Daniels, age 48, a resident of Honolulu; and
Villiami Tapuketau Naufahu, age 26, a resident of San Mateo, California.

The following individuals were charged but are currently in State of Hawaiʻi custody:

Lelauti Sakaria, age 35, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi; and
June Gibson, age 43, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi

If convicted of the most serious drug charges in the indictment (violations of 21 USC 841(b)(1)(A)), defendants face up to a maximum of life in prison, with mandatory minimum prison terms of ten years.

Other charges (violations of 21 USC 841(b)(1)(B)) have maximum terms of 40 years in prison, with mandatory minimum prison terms of five years, while the least serious drug offenses (violations of 21 USC 841(b)(1)(C)) have maximum prison terms of 20 years.

The three firearm offenses alleging possession of firearms and/or ammunition during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime carry a mandatory five-year prison term consecutive to the sentence for the drug trafficking crime. The two firearm offenses alleging the defendant to be a felon in possession of firearms and/or ammunition carry a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years.

NOTE: The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The arrest and charges resulted from a joint investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Honolulu Police Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys Tony R. Roberts and Marion Percell.

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