Hilo Man Faces Sentence of 20+ Years in Federal Drug Case
A 34-year-old Big Island man faces a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison after being convicted last week of methamphetamine trafficking.
Francis S.K. Ogata of Hilo was convicted Friday by a federal jury in Honolulu of attempting to possess more than 50 grams of meth with intent to distribute.
According to the US Attorney Office in Honolulu, the case involved a package sent through the US Mail from Las Vegas to Hilo in February 2012.
Postal inspectors identified the parcel as suspicious and after obtaining a search warrant, allegedly found more than 145 grams of the illicit drug wrapped in saran wrap, carbon paper and a plastic container.
Law enforcement officials removed most of the drug and after rewrapping the parcel held it for pick up at the Hilo post office.
Postal inspectors observed Ogata pick up the parcel and drive away. He was later arrested at his home following a pursuit that lasted more than an hour.
Law enforcement officers found a portion of the contents of the parcel in the car that Ogata had been driving.
Ogata was found guilty after a five-day trial.
Prosecutors said Ogata faces the minimum 20-year prison term because he had previously been convicted of federal drug trafficking in 2005. His sentencing is scheduled for April 25.
The Hawaii Police Department assisted US Postal Service inspectors in the case.