4-year sentence handed down in illegal fireworks case

Published On: Feb 14 2013 04:31:58 PM HST
Federal Court Sign

Honolulu resident Brandon C. Haleamau, 28, received 48 months in prison today as a result of his guilty pleas to multiple charges relating to illegal fireworks trafficking, possession of a stolen firearm, and structuring of funds.

Senior United States District Court Judge Helen Gillmor also ordered forfeiture of $345,421.70 in cash and three vehicles involved in Haleamau’s structuring conviction.

Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that according to information produced in court, Haleamau transported explosives (commercial grade display fireworks) without a license, imported commercial grade display fireworks from China by means of a false declaration, and structured financial transactions totaling more than $1.1 million to evade federal currency transaction reporting requirements.

Under federal law, a Currency Transaction Report must be filed by a financial institution with the Internal Revenue Service in regard to any currency transaction over $10,000.

It is illegal to structure transactions with financial institutions in order to avoid this filing requirement.  While pending sentencing for the aforementioned crimes, Haleamau possessed a stolen firearm on two occasions as well as possessed and improperly stored in his residence a 12-inch commercial grade display fireworks shell, classified as an explosive.

This case culminated investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI); and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Darren W.K. Ching prosecuted this case.


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