Jan 21, 2022
WAILUKU — More than 1 pound of crystal methamphetamine was found in two Lego boxes that contained toys as well as the drugs when police officers searched a Kahului apartment last week, an officer testified Thursday.
Sergio Hirales, 37, who was living in the third-floor unit at the complex on Hoohana Street, said “anything found within is his,” police vice officer David Jakubczak testified at a preliminary hearing for Hirales in Wailuku District Court.
Hirales said his girlfriend, who lives with him, “is oblivious to his operation,” Jakubczak said. He said Hirales reported that he didn’t have to pay money up front and “only has to call” to receive drugs in the mail.
Shortly before police executed warrants to search Hirales, his residence and vehicle the afternoon of Jan. 11, he was seen accepting two mail parcels from Nevada addressed to Mickey Frank Jr., officers testified.
Soon after the delivery, police detained a 52-year-old Wailuku man as he was going up the stairwell after receiving a telephone signal from Hirales to go to his apartment to get crystal methamphetamine to sell, said vice officer Aasin Torricer. He testified that the Wailuku man had been driving a pickup truck that was seen traveling suspiciously through nearby parking lots and the apartment complex parking lot before parking next to Hirales’ vehicle.
After being arrested, the man said he had met Hirales one or two weeks earlier and had received between 4 and 6 ounces of crystal methamphetamine to sell over a three-day period, Torricer said. He said the man reported he would pay $600 an ounce to Hirales after selling the drugs.
“He mentioned that Hirales was receiving the crystal methamphetamine from the Mainland via his ‘girls,’ “ Torricer said.
He said the man’s account was corroborated by cellphone calls and text messages between the man and Hirales.
Based on evidence including the volume and packaging of the drugs, the parcels addressed to an alias and the signal to someone waiting to obtain drugs to sell, Jakubczak said he believed Hirales was “a user and distributor of crystal methamphetamine.”
Deputy Prosecutor Ronson Ibarra asked what was the significance of finding more than a pound of the drug.
“In Hawaii, a pound is a very big deal because it’s so hard to find because of the prices,” Jakubczak said. “It is often coming through the mail.”
He estimated the current street value of methamphetamine in the county at $800 to $1,200 an ounce and $10,000 a pound.
Jakubczak said Hirales was alone in the apartment when police executed the warrant, finding contraband including two mailed boxes addressed to Frank. One box was open and under the stove behind the lower drawer, Jakubczak said. He said it held a sealed Lego box containing toys, tinfoil and a plastic bag of crystal methamphetamine.
The other parcel, which wasn’t open, also contained a sealed Lego box that held toys, tinfoil and a plastic bag of crystal methamphetamine, Jakubczak said.
He said the weight of the drugs was 248.09 grams in one package and 249.67 grams in the other for a total of 497.76 grams, which is more than 1 pound.
Also recovered from the apartment were two cellphones, a hypodermic needle, a digital gram scale and water smoking pipe with suspected crystal methaphetamine residue, Jakubczak said.
A Nevada driver’s license with Hirales’ photo and the name Mickey Frank Jr. was found in Hirales’ wallet, along with a Nevada credit union card in Frank’s name, Jakubczak said.
Hirales said the driver’s license “was a fake and not a very good one,” Jakubczak said.
He said Hirales reported being on Maui “because of a probation violation issue in Las Vegas for narcotics and gun charges.”
Hirales is on felony probation in Nevada for a 2020 conviction for attempted ownership or possession of a firearm and 2018 convictions for attempted burglary and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, according to records presented in court.
Judge Matson Kelley found there was sufficient evidence to support charges of first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, attempted first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, criminal conspiracy and possessing drug paraphernalia against Hirales, who is charged as a repeat and persistent offender.
Kelley didn’t find probable cause for charges of first-degree identity theft and unauthorized possession of confidential personal information.
Deputy Public Defender Danielle Sears had argued against those charges, saying there wasn’t evidence presented that someone named Mickey Frank Jr. existed.
Hirales appeared by videoconference Thursday from the Maui Community Correctional Center, where he is being held without bail.
He is set to be arraigned Feb. 2 in 2nd Circuit Court.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at email@example.com.
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Police says seized drugs were found in boxes of toys – Maui News
Jan 21, 2022