Mailed meth leads to 3 arrests
An intercepted parcel contains 197.5 grams of methamphetamine
Narcotics agents arrested three suspects after intercepting a package of drugs mailed to a Makaha laundry and planting an electronic monitoring device inside it.
Lucky Kaui Hirakawa, Suzanne Hirakawa and Patrick Edwin Keliikipi were charged yesterday by federal criminal complaint, which detailed the methods used to catch them.
According to the complaint, a search warrant was executed Wednesday on a U.S. Postal Service Express Mail parcel sent from an Imperial Beach, Calif., address to the Makaha Wash Spot.*
Agents of the Hawaii Airport Task Force and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service used the search warrant to open and find 197.5 grams of methamphetamine in eight plastic bags bundled together inside four larger bags, according to the complaint's attached affidavit of state and federal narcotics officer Sidney Kuranishi.
The package also contained a white and brown powder residue with a sweet odor, often used to mask the smell of drugs from drug-sniffing dogs, Kuranishi wrote in the affidavit.
The large amount of methamphetamine indicates it was intended for distribution and not personal use, the affidavit said.
After obtaining warrants, agents placed a beeper in the parcel, then replaced the methamphetamine with rock salt, bundled and dusted it with a fluorescent powder, placed it in the same cornflakes box it came in and resealed it.
An undercover agent posing as a postal carrier delivered the parcel to the Makaha Wash Spot at 84-1170 Farrington Highway.
At about 9 a.m. Thursday, a man named Christopher Young entered the laundry office and picked up the parcel.
Suzanne Hirakawa called Young and told him to turn the package over to "Komo," later identified as Keliikipi, who would meet him, the affidavit said.
Surveillance units watched as Keliikipi picked up the parcel, drove to his Waianae house and brought it inside.
At 11:04 a.m. the beeper device sounded, indicating someone had opened the parcel.
After calling occupants to come out, officers entered the house and made a sweep of the residence. They arrested the three suspects and also found a 2-year-old child inside.
Officers, using an ultraviolet light, found fluorescent powder on the Hirakawas, but the test was inconclusive on Keliikipi.
The three suspects were charged with conspiring to distribute and attempt to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
Friday, January 27, 2006
» A package containing drugs and delivered to a Makaha laundry business was picked up by a man named Christopher Young, according to a criminal complaint that was the basis of a Page A4 article Tuesday. The owners of the Makaha Wash Spot have since clarified that Young is not an employee of, or affiliated with, their business. They said he lives in the back of the Makaha Marketplace, where the business is located, and that they agreed to his request to have his mail sent to their shop. The owners say they have been assured by federal agents that they are not under investigation.