U.S. Attorney Kenji Price this afternoon announced the breakup of a Hawaii methamphetamine distribution ring along with charges against 10 defendants involved in the drug trafficking.
The arrests were part of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Operation Crystal Shield, a nationwide enforcement campaign against meth trafficking and also involved local police agencies.
In a news conference, Price said the federal court in Honolulu on Thursday unsealed an indictment charging defendants with conspiring to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, methamphetamine across Hawaii.
The indictment also charges one of the defendants with possessing a firearm while trafficking drugs and accuses three others with unlawfully possessing a firearm as convicted felons.
Those arrested and charged were James Ferreira, Patrick Ribuca, Jeremy Javillo, Lisa Hong, Brandon Perreira, Daniel Kushiyama, Jay Pagay and James Demello of Hawaii, plus Kincaid Olayan of Las Vegas and Alexander Hernandez of California.
Five of the defendants were arraigned in District Court in Honolulu this morning, and all of the defendants are in federal custody.
As described in the indictment, the distribution ring stretched from Las Vegas and California to Oahu, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii island.
The indictment alleges that when officers arrested Pagay on Feb. 4, he had 2 ounces of methamphetamine and a firearm. Additionally, it says Javillo was busted trafficking drugs while on federal supervised release.