FBI Arrests 11 in “Operation Hano Boy” Investigation
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 30, 2010|
An Indictment naming 12 defendants and charging multiple counts of heroin trafficking, including a heroin trafficking conspiracy offense which charges each of the 12 defendants, was unsealed today in federal court upon the arrest and initial appearance of nine of the defendants. According to the Indictment, the defendants conspired to obtain and distribute heroin in Hawaii.
Appearing in Court today were defendants ARTHUR MINIEAR, aka “Raven”, age 49, TODD KIRWAN, age 45, DIANE KILA, age 56, BRIAN TANAKA, age 55, JOHN UEMURA, age 54, PATRICK SOUZA, age 49, MARK DENIS, age 48, CRAIG PATERSON, aka Craig Patterson, aka Craig Peterson, age 58, and TRISTAN ALEXANDER, age 40. Also named as defendants in the Indictment are ANTHONY HOWARD RANSOM, aka “Anthony Paul King,” aka “Tony”, age 43, ALBERT FERNANDEZ, JR., age 54, and RITA VANDEN BERGHE, aka “Rita Vanderberghe”, age 52.
Hawaii United States Attorney Florence Nakakuni explained that the Indictment resulted from a joint investigation by the FBI and other Hawaii law enforcement agencies which commenced in 2009, and continued into 2010. Assisting the FBI in conducting this investigation and effecting arrests were the Honolulu Police Department, the U.S. Postal Inspection-Service, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
U.S. Attorney Nakakuni stated that the Indictment alleges that ALBERT FERNANDEZ, JR. and ARTHUR MINIEAR acted as the principal heroin distributors of the alleged heroin distribution ring. The Indictment identifies Defendants BRIAN TANAKA, JOHN UEMURA, PATRICK SOUZA, MARK DENIS, CRAIG PATERSON, TRISTAN ALEXANDER, and RITA VANDEN BERGHE as sub-distributors.
Also charged, and identified in the Indictment as a heroin source for the ring, is defendant ANTHONY HOWARD RANSOM aka “Anthony Paul King,” aka “Tony,” a resident of California. RANSOM was arrested in Redondo Beach earlier this month, and will appear in Court in Hawaii tomorrow to face the Indictment charges.
Defendant TODD KIRWAN is alleged to have attempted to deliver heroin. Defendant DIANE KILA allegedly stored monetary proceeds of the heroin trafficking activity and kept an accounting of such monies.
On December 1, 2009, agents successfully interdicted an heroin transaction attempted at a parking lot in the McCully/Moiliili area of Honolulu. Approximately three pounds of black tar heroin, as well as $75,300.00 in cash as to which the Indictment seeks forfeiture to the United States, were seized.
The heroin conspiracy offense provides for a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years. The charges related to the attempted transfer of three pounds of heroin provide for a prison term of up to life.
Defendant ALBERT FERNANDEZ, JR. is further charged in the Indictment with lying to an FBI agent during a December 3, 2009 interview regarding conversations he allegedly had with a co-conspirator.
The charges contained in the Indictment are mere accusations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.