Hilo man found guilty of meth offense

Ogata, 34, will face minimum of 20 years in prison

Published  2:54 PM HST Jan 14, 2013
Federal Court Sign

A federal grand jury found a 34-year-old Hilo man guilty of attempting to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

The verdict was handed down on Friday.

According to the information produced in court, the case grew out of a February 2012 shipment of a parcel from Las Vegas, Nev. to Hilo through the U.S. Postal Service.

U.S. Postal Inspectors identified the parcel as suspicious and obtained a search warrant, which resulted in the recovery of more than 145 grams of methamphetamine in plastic wrap, carbon paper and a plastic container.

Law enforcement officers removed most of the methamphetamine, wrapped the parcel again and held it for pickup at the Hilo Post Office.

On Feb. 3, 2012, postal inspectors saw Ogata pick up the parcel and drive away.

Officers engaged in a pursuit that lasted more than an hour and eventually arrested Ogata at his Hilo residence.

Law enforcement officers then found a portion of the contents of the parcel in the car which Ogata had been driving.

The jury returned its verdict after a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor.

Because Ogata was convicted in 2005 of another federal drug trafficking offense, he will face a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 25.

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