Three Maui men are latest to be charged as a result of Operation Keiki Shield, an ongoing law enforcement effort to identify and arrest offenders who commit internet-facilitated sexual crimes against children.
During the operation that ran from Friday through Sunday, the suspects allegedly solicited who they believed to be children for sex and then took substantial steps to meet up with the minors for the purpose of engaging in criminal sexual acts, according to a Maui Police Department news release. Instead of minors, however, the men were met by law enforcement officers.
Since the first Operation Keiki Shield on Maui in March 2020, a total of 26 suspects have been arrested.
The three latest suspects — Andrew Lovell, 43, of Wailuku; John Staten, 40, of Lahaina; and Joel Quiocho, 26, of Kahului — were each charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child, with bail set at $100,000, the release said.
The cases are being referred to the county Department of the Prosecuting Attorney for review and possible forwarding to federal law enforcement agencies.
Operation Keiki Shield is overseen by state Department of the Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and includes officers and agents from county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The latest Maui campaign was hosted by MPD with assistance from the ICAC Task Force, the Kauai and Honolulu police departments, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations Honolulu, the Secret Service and FBI.