A federal grand jury in Sacramento has indicted four people who are accused of being part of a drug trafficking ring that shipped methamphetamine and marijuana to Hawaii and New York.
The 11-count indictment was returned Wednesday against Epati Malauulu, 40 of Suisun City; John Ortiz, 43,of Vallejo; Algernon Tamasoa, 26, of Sacramento; and Francisco Poloai, 43, of Dixon. They are charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, attempted distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of marijuana, and use of a communications facility to facilitate a drug trafficking crime, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.
Court documents indicate that beginning in August 2014 and continuing until June 4, 2015, the defendants were involved in shipping packages of methamphetamine from Vallejo and elsewhere to Honolulu, using the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx. On at least four occasions, investigators in Hawaii seized packages containing approximately 12 pounds of methamphetamine. On a separate occasion, investigators seized a package containing 1 pound of marijuana destined for Brooklyn, N.Y.
All four defendants were arrested June 4, and Malauulu, Ortiz and Tamasoa are in custody, authorities said.
The case resulted from investigations by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Fairfield and Vallejo police departments, and the Solano County and Contra Costa County sheriff’s offices.