Thursday, February 2, 2012
HONOLULU – A federal district court jury here found California resident Ramiro Hernandez, age 37, guilty of three methamphetamine trafficking offenses yesterday after a tenday trial. Hernandez faces a maximum term of life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum term of ten years, as to each charge when he is sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Susan Oki Mollway on May 21, 2012.
United States Attorney Florence T. Nakakuni said that according to information produced in court, in July 2006 law enforcement authorities discovered approximately 14 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the drive shaft of an automobile Hernandez shipped from California to Hawaii. California resident Jose Perez, age 24, and Oahu resident John Gouveia, Jr., age 36, were arrested when they took possession of the automobile in Hawaii. Evidence was also presented in court regarding another automobile which was shipped by Hernandez to Gouveia in Hilo, Hawaii in March 2006 which also contained approximately 14 pounds of methamphetamine. The two shipments formed the basis for two of the three charges for which Hernandez was tried, and the third count charged a conspiracy encompassing both shipments.
In August 2010, a federal district court jury found Gouveia guilty of the three charges but could not reach a unanimous verdict as to Hernandez. On January 27, 2011, Gouveia was sentenced by United States District Judge Susan Oki Mollway to a prison term of 24 years and four months. Perez had previously pled guilty to possessing with intent to distribute and distributing 14 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, and United States District Judge David A. Ezra sentenced him to a prison term of five years and ten months in April 2007.
The case resulted from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan M. F. Loo.