2 people are arrested in ‘ice’ bust on Kauai
LIHUE » Kauai police say they arrested a drug trafficker and a "mule" Monday night coming off a Los Angeles flight and found nearly a pound of crystal methamphetamine in their carry-on luggage.
Edward Kauo: He is described as a drug trafficker and faces other charges in a July 2004 case
Caitlin Simpson: Police say she passed security in Los Angeles with 436 grams of hidden "ice"
Wainiha residents Edward Kauo, 35, and Caitlin Simpson, 20, were both charged with drug trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were released after posting bail.
Wes Perreira, Kauai Police Department vice narcotics lieutenant, described Simpson as a "mule" who made it through security at Los Angeles Airport with the 436 grams, just under a pound, stuffed in her clothes. She then transferred the drugs to a carry-on bag while on the flight, she told police.
According to Perreira, Kauai police officers, acting on tips from informants, arrested Simpson and Kauo on other charges, and found the drugs during a search of their belongings.
Perreira described Kauo as a "drug trafficker" who is facing other charges. He was indicted by a Kauai grand jury in September on four other charges relating to possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in July 2004. He pleaded not guilty last week to those charges and is awaiting trial, with a court appearance scheduled for next Thursday.
The seizure of a pound of ice follows two other arrests at Lihue Airport during the summer, in each of which police found about a half-pound of methamphetamine. Those arrests were of people flying from Honolulu.
Perreira said the use of both interisland and mainland flights to distribute drugs to Kauai is common.
"Typically, people mule it in," he said, "but it's not the only way."
A Lawai man, Craig Iwase, was arrested on federal charges last year after receiving two pounds of methamphetamine from California via Federal Express. He has pleaded guilty to trafficking methamphetamine and is awaiting sentencing.
The approximate street value of a pound of methamphetamine, when cut for individual sale on Kauai, is about $200,000, police said.