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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, July 13, 2002

2 Hilo men face prison terms

By David Waite
Advertiser Courts Writer

Two Hilo men are facing federal prison terms of up to five years after pleading guilty to charges of conspiring to import more than 11 pounds of anabolic steroids to Hawai'i from foreign countries and distribute the illegal drugs to various areas on the Mainland.

Jessielee Estrada, 19, pleaded guilty to the charges on Thursday, joining co-defendant Poletaki William Kivalu, who pleaded guilty June 27.

U. S. Attorney Ed Kubo said Kivalu was in contact with people on the Mainland and agreed to be paid to receive parcels containing steroids that were shipped to Hawai'i from foreign countries including Thailand, China, Peru and Yugoslavia.

Kubo said Estrada and Kivalu received parcels containing steroid pills or liquid from September 2001 to January 2002 at their homes in Hilo and through two private mail boxes in Hilo registered to Kivalu.

The two men then repackaged the steroids, sending them to various points, including California, New York and Texas.

Kivalu is to be sentenced Oct. 28 and Estrada on Nov. 18 by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Mollway.

Kubo said the case resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Customs Service with assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Hawai'i County Police Department, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the state Narcotics Enforcement Division.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Beverly Wee Sameshima prosecuted the case.