Feds charge leprosy patient


POSTED: Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Federal prosecutors have filed a drug charge against the youngest leprosy patient in Kalaupapa for allegedly trying to ship crystal methamphetamine to the remote Molokai peninsula.

An affidavit filed in U.S. District Court on Monday alleges 68-year-old Norbert Palea attempted to mail more than half an ounce of crystal methamphetamine to Kalaupapa from Honolulu during a visit last month.

It says U.S. drug enforcement agents also investigated and questioned Palea during a November trip to Oahu.

The indictment charges Palea with one count of attempting to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Palea's federal public defender, Matthew Winter, declined comment yesterday. Palea's bail hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.