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2004 National HIDTA Program Award

Hawaii HIDTA - HI-Impact Task Force - Operation Shave Ice

Hawaii HIDTA, Operation SHAVE ICE, was given OCDETF designation, and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Hawaii County Police Department (HCPD), Honolulu Police Department (HPD), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The initial investigation targeted the Marvin Postadan Organization. Postadan led a drug distribution organization on the Big Island of Hawaii that smuggled crystal methamphetamine ("ice") and cocaine from California to Hawaii. In addition, Postadan owned two automotive businesses on the Big Island. Postadan's California supplier, Francisco Guiterrez Ramirez was shown through telephone analysis to have Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) connections to the Arellano-Felix and Zambada-Garcia organizations. The Postadan organization was involved in the distribution of multiple kilo quantities of ice and cocaine. The transportation methods included cargo shipments, U.S. Mail, and private carriers such as UPS and Fedex.

Between May and October of 2003, sixteen wiretaps were conducted to further this investigation. Four additional groups were identified and dismantled including the criminal enterprises of William Totten, Brandon Chang, Jasen Antonio, and Shane Tom. In addition to the drug lines of supply coming from Ramirez to Postadan, three other distinct drug lines of supply into Hawaii were dismantled. These lines of supply included Michael "Playboy" Huwe from Nevada who supplied Shane Tom's organization, Roman Calderon from Arizona who supplied William Totten's organization and Carlos Pagan who obtained his drugs in California and was one of the suppliers of Jasen Antonio's organization. The investigation included pre-takedown ice seizures of 1 pound, 1 ½ pounds, 2 pounds, and five pounds respectively. In addition, several shipments of currency representing drug proceeds were intercepted leaving Hawaii including one for $99,030. The other currency seizures were conducted by airport interdictions of body carriers identified through the wiretaps. The total amount of currency seized in this case is approximately $510,000.00. The value of the assets seized in this case amount to approximately $75,000.00. In addition, 15 firearms comprised of handguns, shotguns, and rifles were seized.

In October, sixty individuals were indicted and over fifty search warrants were executed including search and arrest warrants in Hawaii (on Oahu and the Big Island), California, Arizona, and Nevada. These search warrants resulted in many asset seizures. All indicted subjects were arrested and several have been convicted.

Investigative leads generated from cooperating defendants have resulted in significant spin-off investigations including one wiretap investigation, and a series of buy-busts and reverse operations which have resulted in approximately 13 additional arrests to date of significant targets who transport drug supplies into Hawaii.

On the Big Island, Shave Ice was initiated by HCPD Detective Ernest Saldua and FBI SA Neil Rogers, who also wrote two Title III affidavits. HCPD Lieutenant Norman Keamo coordinated the investigation on the Hilo side of the Big Island. FBI SA Lisa Nielsen wrote the initial Title III affidavit and one later affidavit. On the Island of Oahu, the HIDTA wire-room operations were supervised by FBI SA Daniel Brady, who wrote five Title III affidavits, and HPD Detective Michael Church. Most of the manpower was provided by HPD through the efforts of Captain John Lum who ensured the continuing support of the HPD command. Finally, the prosecution efforts of AUSA Chris Thomas ensured that the hard work of the above team and many others reached the appropriate conclusion. DEA, ICE, MPD, HDPS, KPD, IRS, USPIS, HNG, and BATF provided significant support during the lengthy investigation.

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Last Updated: February 7, 2005