Hilo woman arrested as part of Operation Paper Shredder for contraband smuggling
The intensive correctional crime reduction initiative is part of the department’s ongoing effort to eliminate contraband introduction to Hawai‘i’s jails. The investigations are ongoing, and more arrests are expected.
“The efforts by corrections staff to intercept the drugs and turn them over to law enforcement prompted each of these cases, resulting in arrests,” said department director Tommy Johnson.
The department’s law enforcement task force, comprised of narcotics agents, internal affairs investigators and deputy sheriffs, actively investigated the cases leading up to the arrests.
In all three cases, the department believes that inmates influenced their family members, friends or associates to obtain contraband and participate in smuggling schemes that attempted to introduce illegal drugs into O‘ahu correctional facilities.
Two of the cases involved sending drug-laden paper through the mail into prison. Drug paper is manufactured with a controlled substance soaked into or onto the surface of the paper. The paper itself looks harmless, making it an attractive form of prison contraband. The third case involved methamphetamine.
In one case, 42-year-old Annette Garcia was arrested in Hilo by State Narcotics Division Agents, with the assistance of state sheriffs and Hawai‘i County Police, after a letter containing drug paper was interdicted at an O‘ahu correctional facility by corrections officers.
In another case, 35-year-old Michelle Soto is suspected of supplying 29-year-old Kimberly Cambra with the drug paper. Cambra allegedly prepared mail destined for an inmate at an O‘ahu correctional facility and gave it to her associate, 27-year-old Tiffany Fountain, who mailed the letter at a local post office. That letter was intercepted by Narcotics Enforcement Division agents, was tested and found to contain a controlled substance. All three women were then arrested.
And 38-year-old Katherine Sanee-Wong was arrested after a letter containing methamphetamine was intercepted at an O’ahu correctional facility by corrections officers.
All the suspects were arrested on one count of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, which is a Class B felony in Hawai‘i.