Senior United States District Court Judge Helen Gillmor sentenced Big Island resident Francis S.K. Ogata, 34, to 20 years in prison on Monday for attempting to possess with intent to distribute approximately 145 grams of methamphetamine.
Because Ogata was convicted in 2005 of another drug trafficking offense, he was required to receive a sentence of at least 20 years imprisonment. A jury convicted Ogata on January 11, 2013 after a five-day trial.
Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that according to information produced in court, the case grew out of the February 2012 shipment of a parcel from Las Vegas to Hilo through the United States mail.
United States Postal Inspectors identified the parcel as suspicious and obtained a search warrant, which resulted in the recovery of over 145 grams of methamphetamine. After removing most of the methamphetamine, law enforcement officers held the parcel for pick up at the Hilo Post Office.
On February 3, 2012, Ogata picked up the parcel and drove away. After an hour pursuit by law enforcement officers, Ogata was arrested at his Hilo residence. Officers found a portion of the contents of the parcel in the car Ogata had been driving.
This case occurred during a United States Postal Service interdiction operation and was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Hawaii County Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Chris A. Thomas prosecuted the case.