Attorney General launches probe into illegal fireworks delivery at Oahu jail

The state Attorney General’s office has launched an investigation into public corruption at the Oahu Community Correction Center following a fireworks bust.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:14 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:48 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Attorney General’s office has launched an investigation into public corruption at the Oahu Community Correction Center following a fireworks bust.

As Hawaii News Now first reported earlier this month, a corrections officer is suspected of having nearly 100 pounds of illegal fireworks shipped to the jail under an inmate’s name.

The state Department of Public Safety says it’s also conducting an internal review.

The bust happened Dec. 6 inside the mailroom at OCCC.

Corrections officer suspected after major illegal aerial fireworks bust at Oahu jail

Sources say the jail was tipped off by a USPS inspector, who alerted them to three suspicious packages stuffed with 86 pounds of illegal fireworks.

All of the parcels were addressed to the same inmate and appeared to have been shipped from Las Vegas.

Earlier that same day, staff reported a corrections officer had come to the mailroom looking for three boxes, allegedly telling a worker they were Christmas presents he’d sent to the jail under an inmates name.

The officer also said he’d picked up several other boxes the day before.

State Sen. Chris Lee called the apparent abuse of power concerning.

“No one’s been convicted of anything yet, but just even the perception of this kind of activity and this kind of abuse is just unsettling,” Lee said.

It’s also an alarming trend recently displayed in many levels of government.

“We’ve had numerous cases of bigger public corruption. With the Kealohas, DPP, other departments and former legislators,” Lee said.

“In the context of all this ... that people aren’t thinking that they aren’t under the microscope, that people can get away with that kind of stuff. It’s surprising.”

A spokesperson for the Office of the state Attorney General said in a statement:

“The Department of the Attorney General takes allegations of public corruption and abuse of government position with the utmost seriousness.”

Meanwhile, the Senate Public Safety Committee Chair Glenn Wakai says he hopes the investigation will reveal more on how the explosives made it on board an aircraft undetected.

“This is one of the few cases I’m aware of where it came in on a plane,” Wakai said.

“We know that the postal service puts those boxes sometimes on commercial airlines. That is concerning. I hope that the postal service really looks into the aspect of what happened there.”