Only 4 men remain on trial in Hawaii meth ring

HONOLULU (AP) - A federal judge in Honolulu has dismissed charges against two defendants in a major drug trafficking trial.

U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi on Wednesday acquitted Harry Akana and Daniel Fola because of a lack of evidence.

The decision deals another significant blow to the prosecution of an alleged drug ring accused of conspiring to distribute 400 pounds of methamphetamine in Hawaii.

Richard Hamar, who is representing alleged Southern California ringleader Walter Dominguez, says the dismissals bode well for the remaining four defendants. Closing arguments are expected next week.

Last month, Kobayashi ruled that the government was "sloppy" and "tardy" in providing discovery materials to the defense. She also referred Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Loo to the Department of Justice's office of professional responsibility.

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