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Friday, March 10, 2023
Smuggling Drugs into Jails--PSD Arrests Five
By News Release @ 6:36 AM :: 2967 Views :: Hawaii County , Law Enforcement, Drugs

OPERATION PAPER SHREDDER – 5 ARRESTED FOR CONTRABAND SMUGGLING

News release from PSD, Mar 9, 2023

HONOLULU – The Department of Public Safety (PSD) is announcing the arrest of five individuals, so far, involved in three recent cases of contraband smuggling in Hawai‘i’s correctional facilities.

“Operation Paper Shredder” is an intensive correctional crime reduction initiative initiated by the Department of Public Safety as part of its ongoing effort to eliminate contraband introduction to Hawai‘i’s correctional facilities. The investigations are ongoing, and more arrests are expected. 

“Public Safety’s Corrections and Law Enforcement Divisions have been working hand-in-hand on these cases to stop contraband from making it into the jails and prisons,” said PSD Director Tommy Johnson. “The efforts by corrections staff to intercept the drugs and turn them over to law enforcement prompted each of these cases, resulting in arrests.”

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 the first 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 (NED) agents, was tested, and found to contain a controlled substance. All three women were then arrested.

In the second 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. Through investigation, NED agents identified Garcia as a suspect and probable cause existed for her arrest.

In the third case, 38-year-old Katherine Sanee-Wong was arrested after a letter containing methamphetamine was intercepted at an Oahu correctional facility by corrections officers.  Through investigation, agents identified Sanee-Wong as a suspect and probable cause existed for her arrest. 

EDITOR's NOTE: Sanee-Wong is 'Lead Outreach Coordinator' for RYSE Hawaii.  2015: 8 priors, 5 warrants

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. Additionally, the suspects are all presumed to be innocent until and unless they are found guilty in a court of law.

“I would personally like to thank all of the hard-working corrections and law enforcement staff for their relentless efforts to stem the flow of contraband into the State’s correctional facilities,” said PSD Director Johnson. “I also want to extend my gratitude to our law enforcement partners at the Hawai‘i County Police Department for assisting us with this operation. These arrests could not have happened so successfully without this collaborative law enforcement effort.”

---30---

KHON: DPS expects additional arrests to be made.

HNN: 5 women accused of smuggling drugs into Hawaii prisons through the mail

CB:  Meth By Mail? 5 Women Arrested In Oahu Prison Smuggling Bust

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