Jewelry robbery suspect faces federal 'ice' charge
An Ewa man questioned in the investigation of a $2 million jewelry robbery last week is now in federal custody on a felony drug charge.
Bryan T. Higa appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren on a criminal complaint charging him with conspiracy to distribute 50 or more grams of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice."
He allegedly bought the ice on April 26 from a dealer who was under observation by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents, according to court documents. He will remain in custody until a bond hearing Thursday before the magistrate, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Loo.
Police arrested the 25-year-old man Thursday afternoon on suspicion of first-degree robbery and later released him. He was arrested in Leeward Bowl in Pearl City Shopping Center less than an hour after $2 million worth of jewelry was taken at gunpoint from a jewelry salesman.
Police said shots were fired at the salesman, whose suitcase containing jewels was taken outside the Golden Coin Restaurant in Waipahu. Two suspects fled in a stolen car.
Witnesses saw the suspects switch cars and flee in separate vehicles. Officers chasing the suspects said one vehicle went the wrong way on the freeway and got off on Kamehameha Highway, ending up at the Pearl City Shopping Center. The police helicopter joined the chase.
Police also questioned an Aiea man over the weekend about the jewelry robbery and released him from custody.
Police did not recover the jewelry or the weapon used in the robbery.
Star-Bulletin reporter Rod Antone contributed to this report.