Honolulu mom allegedly ran meth trafficking ring

·4 min read

Sep. 23—A woman awaiting sentencing on methamphetamine trafficking and firearm violations was charged in a new case with her son and husband for allegedly shipping methamphetamine between Honolulu and Guam.

A woman awaiting sentencing on methamphetamine trafficking and firearm violations was charged in a new case with her son and husband for allegedly shipping methamphetamine between Honolulu and Guam.

Elsie Thammavongsa and her son Abel Thammavongsa, 21, are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Rot Thammavongsa is charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Elsie Thammavongsa's attorney, Cynthia Ann Kagiwada, did not immediately reply to Honolulu Star-Advertiser requests for comment. Abel Thamma ­vongsa's attorney, Andrew Kennedy, declined comment. Rot Thamma ­vongsa is awaiting a court-appointed attorney.

On Nov. 19 Elsie Thammavongsa pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, trafficking, and possession of a firearm, according to federal court documents. She was facing up to 40 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5 million on the conspiracy charge and up to life in prison and a maximum fine of $250, 000 for the firearm violation.

On Tuesday, agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration executed search warrants at the couple's apartment at 410 Magellan Ave. and at Abel Thammavongsa's apartment at 5210 Likini St.

Abel Thammavongsa told investigators during the search that his mother would use his address to receive drug money mailed to her from Guam. He later said people from Guam would wire money to his bank accounts and that his mother made him withdraw the money and give it to her.

Acting on a tip earlier this month, DEA agents learned that an individual was going to mail 20 pounds of methamphetamine to Guam on the morning of Sept. 7. On that day, investigators set up surveillance near the post office at Ala Moana Center and approached a person in a car who told them there were four pounds of methamphetamine inside the vehicle.

Investigators recovered a wrapped box inscribed with the words "Happy Birthday " and other "celebratory script, "

according to court documents.

Agents arrested the driver of the car, who later became a confidential source, and said he got the methamphetamine from Elsie and Rot Thammavongsa.

The source told agents they had already mailed a number of other methamphetamine parcels to Guam for Elsie Thammavongsa.

On Sept. 12, authorities on Guam conducted a review of USPS business rec ­ords and identified a suspicious parcel addressed to Abel Thammavongsa's apartment.

A search of the parcel turned up an "undetermined amount of U.S. currency " enclosed in three separate vacuum-sealed bags, heavily wrapped in cellophane wrapping and concealed inside a rice cooker, according to court documents.

Investigators re-wrapped and repackaged the parcel and arranged for it to be delivered to the apartment on Likini Street.

Abel Thammavongsa told agents that about a week before they searched the apartments, he had seen his mother open a package at his apartment that had been previously intercepted by U.S. postal inspectors and examined. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service had flagged a package weighing 11 pounds, 4.4 ounces from Barrigada, Guam, that was addressed to Elsie Thammvongsa at the Likini Street address.

Abel Thammavongsan told the DEA he saw the money inside the package, packed inside a rice cooker.

During Tuesday's search at the apartment on Magellan Avenue, agents allegedly found seven pounds of methamphetamine in a coffee table drawer. Also found were used clear plastic, cellophane wrap ; clear plastic, vacuum-sealed bags ; and scales. The majority of the methamphetamine was found inside a large, clear plastic bag, and the rest was found in approximately 40 smaller, clear plastic bags. Investigators recovered cash from a wallet near Abel Thamma ­vongsa and stashed inside a bathroom cabinet. Agents also recovered a green bag from a witness who claimed he found it in the parking deck below the apartment.

Inside the green bag was about 30 grams of methamphetamine, a scale, small amounts of suspected heroin, cannabis and "various different types and amounts of pills, " according to the complaint. Agents also recovered the mobile phone Elsie Thamma ­vongsa used to communicated with the DEA's confidential source.

Rot Thammavongsa, who lists his profession on his Facebook profile as "Works at Daily Dope Dealer, " told agents he had thrown the green bag over the balcony when investigators began conducting the search warrant.

Agents also found the money from the rice cooker.