Drug trafficking nets prison term
An Australian woman will forfeit more than $1 million collected in drug trafficking between California to Hawaii under a sentence levied yesterday in federal court.
U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor sentenced Ai Hang Thi Hyde, 35, to prison for 10 years and 10 months on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said the defendant, also known as Kim Hyde, forfeits $1.068 million that was in her business bank accounts and was the proceeds of drug dealing.
She traveled to the mainland to deliver money for drugs and arranged for others to receive parcels containing methamphetamine from California between September 2001 and December 2006, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The federal prosecutor said she "engaged in sophisticated financial transactions with her business and personal bank accounts at different bank branches in attempts to launder her drug proceeds and to reinvest funds for drug purchases."
Hyde pleaded guilty in June.
Her co-defendant, Ryan Shinjo, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Nov. 1.
They were charged after a 2 1/2-year investigation by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Beverly Wee Sameshima prosecuted the case.
Plan keeps landfill open 15 years
The city's draft solid-waste management plan calls for the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill to be open for at least 15 more years, said Councilman Gary Okino.
The draft also details shipping 100,000 tons of trash a year out of state, increased recycling, and expansion of the HPOWER waste-to-energy plant, Okino said.
Okino, who is also a member of the city Solid Waste Advisory Committee, said the ideas in the plan have been talked about by the administration before.
The plan, which describes how Honolulu will deal with solid waste over the next 25 years, is about 11 months late. It was supposed to be submitted on Jan. 1.
The draft plan is not being released to the public because it is not finalized, said city spokesman Bill Brennan. But the Solid Waste Advisory Committee will review the plan at a public hearing in January, he said.
The committee has 120 days to review the plan. Once it is approved, it will be submitted to the state Department of Health and will be made public at that point, Brennan said.
The City Council is expected in the meantime to move ahead with plans to begin shipping trash to the mainland next year, Okino said.
Panel tables Akaka Bill debate
Discussion on the Akaka Bill was spiked Thursday by the Hawaii State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.
The panel voted 8-6 against taking a new vote on the bill to grant federal recognition to native Hawaiians. "We believe the previous report is an excellent one and identifies the issues," said committee member Amy Agbayani. The 2001 panel report supported the bill.
The vote thwarted the federal commission's effort to get local support for its position against the bill. In July the eight-member commission appointed 17 members to the advisory panel, including six people active in issues concerning Hawaiian sovereignty or the bill.
The commission said last year that the bill would "discriminate on the basis of race or national origin." The Bush administration based its position against the Akaka Bill on the commission report.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs applauded the local committee decision. "This Hawaii committee was being positioned into making a decision through manipulation by majority members of the USCCR in Washington, D.C.," said OHA board Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona in a release.
Agbayani said the local panel "will not be discussing native Hawaiian issues" during its two-year term.
Voting to table further debate were Agbayani, Robert Alm, Daphne Barbee-Wooten, Jennifer Benck, Linda Colburn, Michelle Nalani Fujimori, Wayne Tanna and Jackie Young. Voting to continue debate were H. William Burgess, Vernon Char, Rubellite Johnson, James Kuroiwa, Thomas MacDonald and Paul Sullivan. Members Kheng See Ang and Kealoha Pisciotta did not attend the Thursday meeting at Hilton Hawaiian Village. Chairman Michael Lilly abstained from voting.
Police, Fire, Courts
Hilo man is charged in death during race
HILO » Big Island police have charged Chelsey K.V. Mauga, 21, of Hilo with negligent homicide and other offenses in connection with an alleged nighttime highway race between herself and another driver which resulted in a crash and the death of Mauga's passenger.
Police said Mauga, driving in her own lane on Akoni Pule Highway in West Hawaii, was racing beside Brian Santiago, 34, of North Kohala, who was in the wrong lane, shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday.
Mauga's 1988 Isuzu pickup truck allegedly hit Santiago's 1980 GMC pickup, causing a crash in which Mauga's passenger, Ronald J. Tavares, 21, of Waimea, was killed.
Santiago was charged Sunday with negligent homicide and other offenses. Another man and two women also were in his truck. None was injured.
Mauga was thrown from her vehicle but survived and was admitted to North Hawaii Community Hospital. She was charged Wednesday after being released from the hospital.
Santiago and Mauga face the same charges: negligent homicide, driving while intoxicated, lack of driver's license, racing on a highway and inattention to driving. Santiago also was charged with driving while his license was suspended or revoked. Both suspects have been released pending action on their cases.
Threat to bus driver results in arrest
Police arrested a 50-year-old man who allegedly threatened to kill a city bus driver.
Police said that at about 2:50 p.m. Tuesday, the suspect became angry with the operator of TheBus because she did not hear the exit request buzzer. After getting off at Kapiolani Boulevard and University Avenue, the suspect allegedly threatened to kill the driver.
Police were called, and the suspect was arrested at the scene on suspicion of interference with the operator of a public transit vehicle.
Pedestrian hit on Farrington Highway
A male pedestrian in his 50s or 60s was struck yesterday evening in Nanakuli.
Police said the accident occurred just before 5 p.m. yesterday at the intersection of Farrington Highway and Princess Kahanu Avenue.
The man was taken in critical condition to an area hospital but was upgraded later to serious condition, police said.