Posted at 11:47 a.m., Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Manoa man arrested in firearms raid
By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer
The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Randy Imoto at his 3024 Sea View Ave. residence after taking possession of the automatic firearm from an undercover agent, said Jordan Lowe, acting resident agent in charge of the ATF's office in Hawai'i.
The joint investigation was initiated by the Attorney General's "Project Safe Neighborhoods," said Lowe.
Imoto had been under surveillance for about two weeks on suspicion that he possessed stolen firearms, added Lowe. In the sting operation, a deal was allegedly struck between Imoto and an undercover officer in which an illegal fully automatic rifle would be exchanged for stolen firearms.
"Through Project Safe Neighborhoods we're trying to reduce gun violence," Lowe said. "There's aggressive prosecution of anyone possessing illegal firearms."
Lowe estimates that ATF and police have initiated about 70 "Project Safe Neighborhoods" investigations statewide since February.
An appearance for Imoto is scheduled Thursday before Magistrate Leslie Kobayashi.
During yesterday's operation, police arrested three men and a woman, who showed up at Imoto's residence in a stolen car. The men, ages 36, 33 and 32, and a 21-year-old woman were aressested on suspicion of auto theft, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia.