Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

April 26, 2017

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7900

Methamphetamine Trafficker Sentenced To 20 Years Prison For Trafficking Drugs To Hawaii

SAN FRANCISCO - Epati Malauulu, 42, of Suisun City, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin announced.
 
According to court documents, Malauulu operated a methamphetamine distribution business that purchased high quality crystal methamphetamine in Northern California and distributed it in Hawaii where it sold at a large profit.  Between August 2014 and June 2015, Malauulu was responsible for mailing over 15 pounds of methamphetamine to Oahu.

The investigation began in Hawaii and eventually identified Malauulu as the out-of-state methamphetamine supplier.  Co-defendants John Ortiz, 45, of Vallejo; Algernon Tamasoa, 28, of Sacramento; and Francisco Poloai, 45, of Dixon, were also charged in the conspiracy in the Eastern District of California.  Ultimately, the investigation led to 44 defendants being charged in the District of Hawaii and four being charged in the Northern District of (San Francisco).

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Solano County Multi-Jurisdictional Methamphetamine Enforcement Team, the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, the Fairfield Police Department, the Vallejo Police Department, the San Francisco Police Department, the Honolulu Police Department, and others. Assistant United States Attorney Richard Bender prosecuted the Sacramento case.

Co-defendants Ortiz and Tamasoa have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the methamphetamine trafficking activity.  Poloai is scheduled for trial on September 25, 2017.  The charges against Poloai are only allegations; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, (OCDETF) a focused multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force investigating and prosecuting the most significant drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States by leveraging the combined expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

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