Crime Statistics

Operation Keiki Shield: Six Alleged Offenders Arrested and Charged on Maui

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Left: Bryan Padilla-Arambula. (May 2021) Right: Brandon Saffeels (2019)
Police say there is no photo available for the other four individuals that were arrested at the time the information was released.
PC: Maui Police Department

Six individuals were arrested and charged during the state’s Operation Keiki Shield 10 enforcement effort that was conducted between Friday and Sunday, Dec. 3-5, 2021 on Maui. All six are accused of first degree Electronic Enticement of a Child.

Two faced additional charges, including former Maui Police Officer, Brandon Saffeels, who was sentenced in November to 30 months in prison for separate charges involving public corruption in the form of honest services wire fraud. The indictment to which Saffeels pled guilty in May 2021 alleged that he “engaged in a bribery scheme wherein he solicited a sexual relationship with a female motorist in exchange for an official act as an MPD officer.”

Maui police say Saffeels doesn’t start his prison term until January 2022 for the corruption sentence.

I addition to enticement, Saffeels was also charged with Indecent Electronic Display to a Child, and Solicitation of a Minor for Prostitution. He was being held in lieu of a half a million bail.

Law enforcement officers from around the state carried out the operation in an effort to identify, locate, and arrest alleged offenders “who commit Internet-facilitated sexual crimes against children” and to “identify and rescue child victims of child sexual exploitation and abuse.”

Police say the arrests were made after the alleged offenders solicited “what they believed to be children for sex.” In a press release announcement, police said the individuals then took “substantial steps to meet up with those ‘minors’ for the purpose of engaging in criminal sexual acts with them. However, instead of minors, these offenders were actually met and arrested by law enforcement officers.”

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Maui police released the following summary of arrests and charges as a result of this operation:

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Dec. 3, 2021:

  • Mark Hegnabon, 21, of Kahului
    • Electronic Enticement of a Child in the First Degree – HRS § 707-756
    • Bail: $150,000.
  • Adrian Ortiz, 20, of Wailuku, HI
    • Electronic Enticement of a Child in the First Degree – HRS § 707-756
    • Bail: $150,000

Dec. 4, 2021:

  • Zachariah Abejon, 23, of Pāʻia
    • Electronic Enticement of a Child in the First Degree – HRS § 707-756
    • Bail: $150,000
  • Bryan Padilla-Arambula, 23, of Kahului
    • Electronic Enticement of a Child in the First Degree – HRS § 707-756
    • Bail: $150,000
  • Brandon Saffeels, 37, of Wailuku
    • Electronic Enticement of a Child in the First Degree – HRS § 707-756
    • Indecent Electronic Display to a Child – HRS § 707-759
    • Solicitation of a Minor for Prostitution – HRS § 712-1209
    • Bail: $500,000

Dec. 5, 2021:

  • Sebastian Bischert, 40, of Hamburg, Germany
    • Electronic Enticement of a Child in the First Degree – HRS § 707-756
    • Indecent Electronic Display to a Child – HRS § 707-759
    • Bail: $150,000
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All cases are being referred to the County of Maui, Department of the Prosecuting Attorney for review with additional referrals of some cases made to federal law enforcement agencies for review of violations of federal law.

Since the first iteration of Operation Keiki Shield on Maui in March of 2020, 23 suspects have been arrested on Maui.

The operation is under the overall blanket of the State of Hawaiʻi Department of the Attorney General, Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, and includes officers and agents from local, state, and federal law enforcement.

Operation Keiki Shield 10 was hosted by the Maui Police Department and included officers and agents from the Maui Police Department, the Department of the Attorney General, ICAC Taskforce, the Honolulu Police Department, the Kauaʻi Police Department, the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations Honolulu, the United States Secret Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“The online sexual exploitation of young children and teenagers alike in our community is happening and is a real threat,” police said in a press release. “The offenders come from all different walks of life and all different backgrounds. The only commonality is the lasting emotional and physical damage that they do to our children.”

“The Maui Police Department and our law enforcement partners in the ICAC Taskforce are vigorously pursuing these online predators and will continue to do so for the safety of our children. In that context we have a message for you: If you are sexually exploiting the children in our communities, we will find you, we will arrest you, and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent possible,” police said.

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