Big Island man sentenced to federal prison for smuggling drugs

Kona resident Uiki Teaupa, 42, will serve 25 years in federal prison Monday for committing two federal drug offenses.

On March 15, 2013, a federal jury found Teaupa guilty of a drug conspiracy offense and a distribution offense.

Both offenses involved more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

According to court documents, Teaupa made at least eight trips to the mainland between 2009 and 2012, during which he obtained more than 20 pounds of methamphetamine.

Officials say, Teaupa smuggled the methamphetamine to the Big Island of Hawaii, where another individual distributed it.

During sentencing, Judge Seabright said Teaupa had a “troubling criminal history” that created “a disturbing picture.”

Judge Seabright said the defendant made a “mockery of the judicial system” when he lied during his trial testimony and at a suppression hearing.

The indictment of Teaupa was the result of a two-year joint investigation conducted by the FBI and the Hawaii County Police Department.

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