Under ‘Operation Crystal Shield,’ 8 Hawaii residents accused of smuggling meth arrested

Under ‘Operation Crystal Shield,’ 8 Hawaii residents accused of smuggling meth arrested
51-year-old James Ferreira, known as “Uncle,” and 54-year-old Jay Pagay were among those arrested. (Source: Federal Authorities)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Authorities have arrested eight Hawaii residents suspected in an illegal drug ring.

Federal prosecutors say the suspects are tied to a Mexican meth ring that smuggled drugs to the islands.

Those arrested included 51-year-old James Ferreira, known as “Uncle,” and 54-year-old Jay Pagay, who were named as distributors.

Other suspects listed were identified as James Demello, Patrick Ribuca, Jeremy Javillo, Lisa Hong, Brandon Perreira, and Daniel Kushiyama, along with two others from the west coast.

“Overall, meth remains relatively available throughout the pandemic as meth is transported to Hawaii in the same manor Amazon moves products here: By parcel and postal services," Gary Yabuta of the Hawaii Drug Trafficking Task Force said.

Prosecutors say the arrests were part of Operation Crystal Shield, which so far this year, has led to 2,900 arrests and the seizures of 53,000 pounds of meth and $56 million dollars.

“Every pound of methamphetamine seized represents an American life saved from drug abuse and addiction. Every dollar and profit seized restricts their ability to function and every weapon taken of the street means less violent crimes in our community,” Michael Davis, DEA Special Agent in Charge, said.

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