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Waianae woman to change plea in crystal meth case

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 9:33 a.m. HST, Oct 21, 2013

A Waianae woman is expected to withdraw her not guilty plea in a federal case involving a package containing about 6 pounds of crystal meth sent from California.

Vyra Kaopua is scheduled to change her plea today in federal court in Honolulu.

According to a criminal complaint, FedEx security in April intercepted a package from "Uncle John" in Orange, Calif., to "Kaopua Family" in Waianae. The complaint alleges that about 6 pounds of crystal meth was inside the cardboard box, along with nine white T-shirts.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang signed a warrant to install a beeper in the package that would alert agents when it was opened, according to the complaint. The beeper, along with some fake meth, was put in the box.

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent posing as a FedEx deliveryman took the package to the Waianae address, where Kaopua signed for it. A minute later the beeper indicated the box was open, the complaint said, and law enforcement officers assembled a block away approached the home.

Kaopua was arrested. "In a post-arrest Mirandized statement, Kaopua stated that this was the third parcel that she has received through FedEX containing drugs," the complaint states.

She then helped agents arrest the man she called "Cuz," who she was to deliver the drugs to. The next day, she and an undercover officer met Christopher Woolem in Honolulu after he arrived from Los Angeles. He gave her $3,000 for the package, according to the complaint.

Woolem's attorney, Richard Hamar, said his client is expected to plead guilty next week.

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