Nov. 12—A 29-year-old Hilo woman pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges that she shipped methamphetamine and fentanyl from Mexico through California to market in Hawaii.
A 29-year-old Hilo woman pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges that she shipped methamphetamine and fentanyl from Mexico through California to market in Hawaii.
Mikki M. Matsuyama, free on a $50, 000 unsecured bond, will be sentenced March 23 by U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi on one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl.
"Ms. Matsuyama understands the seriousness of her actions and accepts responsibility for committing this offense, " said Assistant Federal Defender Jacquelyn T. Esser, Matsuyama's attorney. "She is taking this time to work on her own rehabilitation and to make amends to her community and family."
Matsuyama faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison, a fine of up to $10 million and five years to life on federal probation, according to a plea agreement signed Thursday.
Matsuyama has strong family ties in Hawaii and "acknowledges a substance use and mental health history and has expressed a willingness to attend treatment for both and has applied to the Sand Island Treatment Center (SITC ). Her criminal history is relatively minimal, with no recent failure to appear, and does not include any weapons charges or crimes of violence, " according to a motion filed by Esser to vacate her order of detention.
Matsuyama's criminal history consists of a 2013 shoplifting charge, criminal contempt of court in 2015 and second-degree theft in 2019, according to court documents.
In a memo opposing Ma tsuyama's release, Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren Ching wrote that her family ties "did not stop her from distributing pounds of methamphetamine while on State felony probation and pretrial release."
He also noted that Ma tsuyama's mother did not want to serve as a third-party custodian to her daughter and believed she should not be released into the community.
A search warrant executed on a package intended for Matsuyama and her boyfriend, 33-year-old Elias Peace of Hilo, found about 1, 377 grams of methamphetamine and 110 grams of blue fentanyl tablets.
"Defendant received or intended to receive, at least, approximately seven pounds of methamphetamine. Her boyfriend told law enforcement that Defendant was distributing drugs and he was present at some of these transactions, " wrote Ching. "Her boyfriend also stated that Defendant was expecting two pounds of methamphetamine and 1000 fentanyl pills in the parcel they picked up on August 8th."
Kobayashi granted Es ser's motion, and Matsu yama was released to complete the residential program at the Sand Island Treatment Center. Peace accepted a plea agreement Monday, entering a guilty plea to a single count of attempted possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl.
Matsuyama turned herself in Aug. 12 and told Hawaii County police that she had accepted at least four shipments of methamphetamine and fentanyl weighing a total of 5 pounds and that her supplier was a Mexican male named "Jay " who instructed her to pay for the drugs by wiring money in increments of $1, 000 or $2, 000 to him in Mexico, according to court documents.
She allegedly told Peace that the box should have a "couple of pounds of methamphetamine and 1, 000 pills of fentanyl."
The investigation that led to Matsuyama and Peace's arrest was a joint effort among the Hawaii Police Department's Area I Vice Section, Hawaii County prosecutors and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations.