Rise and Fall of a Cocaine Ring: A chart of cocaine abuse in Honolulu shows sharp increase from 1990-1997 then a sharp decline about the time the Cocaine Ring was busted. Source HHIC.org
Former Cocaine Dealer’s Wife Running for Honolulu Council
by Andrew Walden
Should ex-coke dealers get more political representation?
After years as office staff for outgoing North Shore Councilman Ernie Martin, Heidi Tsuneyoshi February 9, 2018, pulled papers to run for the soon-to-be vacant Council District 2 seat.
Her campaign website wisely avoids naming her husband, but her Pinterest site mentions, “Husband: Chad Tsuneyoshi who served 4 years in the United States Army as a Combat Medic.” For some reason, she does not mention Chad’s other service—in Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution.
In an article titled “Drug ring boss gets 40 years”, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin January 19, 2000 explains:
The head of an international drug-trafficking organization must serve 40 years in federal prison, U.S. District Judge David Ezra has ordered.
Richard Brown Taumoepeau was one of five co-defendants convicted last year in U.S. District Court of conspiring to transport multikilogram quantities of cocaine from the United States to Pacific Rim locations including Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand between 1990 and 1997.
Ezra said at a sentencing hearing yesterday that Taumoepeau, who had successfully and creatively trafficked drugs for nearly a decade, was in every sense an "international drug kingpin." He said Taumoepeau showed no remorse and that there was no way to measure the harm done to the community.
U.S. Attorney Steve Alm said evidence presented during the six-week trial that lasted from April to June showed Taumoepeau headed the organization that began in San Francisco in the late 1980s and established itself in Hawaii 10 years later. The ring had expanded to Australia and New Zealand by 1996….
The government estimated between 500 and 1,000 kilograms were transported by the conspirators.
Also convicted last year were Siokatame Hafoka, also known as "Big Joe"; Sosaia Liufau, also known as "Big Saia"; and Chad Tsuneyoshi….
On April 4, 2000, for his role in the conspiracy, Tsuneyoshi was handed a sentence of five years in a federal penitentiary and an additional five years of parole.
He was released on parole March 5, 2004. Unlike other ex-cons who come out of prison broke, Tsuneyoshi quickly became involved in business as a promoter of cage fighting matches.
Federal Probation Officers indeed had found that Tsuneyoshi violated terms of his supervised release by associating with two convicted felons in 2005 and again in May and June, 2006. On June 15, 2006, Judge Ezra sentenced Tsuneyoshi to two months home detention during non-working hours.
He also has three Hawaii misdemeanor convictions from 1990 and 1992.
In spite of this, in 2011 Chad was appointed Martin’s campaign Treasurer---until Hawai’i Free Press exposed the history.
Heidi Tsuneyoshi’s Honolulu Council District 2 opponent is former State Senator Robert Bunda.
2011: Convicted Cocaine Dealer replaces Advertiser columnist as Ernie Martin’s Campaign Treasurer