HONOLULU – After an eight-day trial in the United States District Court in Honolulu, a federal jury found Gilbert Lee Medina, 52, of Honolulu, guilty on Friday, December 18, of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, as well as unlawfully possessing a firearm. The jury also found him guilty of attempting to enter a secure area of the Honolulu International Airport on May 29, 2013, by fraud or false pretenses.
Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that according to the evidence presented at trial, Medina was at the center of a large scale methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy that spanned at least 12 months from April 2012 to April 2013, and was responsible for well over 20 pounds of methamphetamine being brought from California to Hawaii. Medina received the large quantity of methamphetamine from several different sources and was responsible for distributing the methamphetamine to other members of the conspiracy in Hawaii.
The evidence presented at trial also established that Medina unlawfully possessed a firearm on his boat docked at the Ala Wai harbor. Medina had prior felony convictions and is prohibited from possessing firearms. Additionally, the evidence established that Medina attempted to use a false identification at the Honolulu International Airport in an effort to flee from Hawaii in May 2013. TSA officials did not permit Medina to get past the security, and Medina was ultimately arrested and charged with an additional criminal offense for attempting to enter the secured area of the airport by presenting the false identification.
Because of his prior criminal record, Medina faces a possible sentence of life in prison on the methamphetamine trafficking charge when he is sentenced by Senior District Judge Helen Gillmor on March 31, 2015. The maximum penalty for the firearm offense is up to ten years in prison, while the unlawful entry offense is a misdemeanor.
The investigation which resulted in the charges in the case was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The Transportation Security Administration at Honolulu International Airport also contributed significantly to the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony R. Roberts handled the prosecution.