FBI detains man alleged to be member of Tonga-Tahiti drug ring
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in Honolulu have detained a man who allegedly was carrying methamphetamine before boarding a flight last week to Papeete, Tahiti.
According to a criminal complaint filed with the Honolulu federal court, Andrew Tehiva is charged with one count of possessing more than 260 grams of methamphetamine. Tehiva was detained following his arrest.
During a detention hearing on Wednesday this week, the court found that given the defendant’s “immigration status”, he is a “risk of non-appearance” in court and therefore the federal government’s motion to detain the defendant without bail was granted.
An affidavit in support of the complaint states that on Oct. 21 this year, agents in Honolulu were contacted by their counterparts in Oceanside, Calif., saying that previously identified members of a Tonga-Tahiti drug trafficking organization were traveling to Honolulu with over $10,000 each.
The males were identified as Tehiva and Marvin Ahmin, according to the affidavit which also states that further queries revealed that the two men continued their travel on to Hilo, Hawai’i and planned to return to Honolulu Oct. 25.
Police surveillance was conducted at the Honolulu airport on Oct. 25 when the two men checked in to a hotel.
Two days later (Oct. 27), federal agents encountered the two men at the Honolulu airport as they were about to board a Hawaiian Airlines flight to Papeete.
Tehiva was questioned by an agent, who also conducted a border search pat down of the defendant. During the search, the agent discovered a foreign object on Tehiva, who was then asked what the object was and the defendant replied, “Something I shouldn’t have,” the affidavit alleges.
Asked if it was drugs, Tehiva allegedly replied “yes”. He was then taken to a temporary office at the Honolulu airport for further questioning and Tehiva voluntarily produced the object — a long cylinder — with a substance inside. A field test conducted found it positive for “amphetamine”, the affidavit alleges.
The drugs were weighted with a gross weight of approximately 260 grams, the affidavit alleges and the defendant provided both a verbal and written statement in which he stated that he was carrying the drugs from Hilo to Papeete.
There is no mention in the complaint as to the whereabouts of Ahmin and if any charges are to be filed against him.