East Hawaii News

Hilo Man Faces Sentence of 20+ Years in Federal Drug Case

January 14, 2013, 3:11 PM HST
* Updated January 14, 3:13 PM
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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Hawaii Police Department assisted US Postal Service inspectors in the case.

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