Kailua man receives over 24 years in prison for drug trafficking and money laundering

 

Date: June 17, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

HONOLULU — United States District Judge Derrick K. Watson sentenced Justin K. Wilcox, aka Justin Kaanoi, aka Ali'i, of Kailua, Hawaii, today to concurrent imprisonment terms of 295 months and 240 months for his roles in conspiracies to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine and commit money laundering, respectively. Wilcox previously pled guilty on August 5, 2019, to conspiracy to distribute and possess, with intent to distribute, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and 500 grams or more of cocaine and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Wilcox also received with five- and three-year concurrent terms of supervised release to follow imprisonment.

Judith A. Philips, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii, stated that according to court documents and information presented in court, Wilcox was the Oahu leader and organizer of the drug conspiracy which operated in Hawaii and involved more than five members with drugs supplied by a Las Vegas, Nevada source. The sentencing court found Wilcox responsible for the possession and distribution of 3,880 grams of pure methamphetamine, or "ice," and 1,393 grams of cocaine.

At the sentencing hearing, the court found that Wilcox utilized his Kailua clothing company, "Armed and Dangerous," as a front business to launder cash drug proceeds. As a result, the court ordered Wilcox to pay a forfeiture money judgment of $127,000 for proceeds that Wilcox obtained as a result of his drug trafficking activities.

In addition to the seizure of 8.4 kilograms of methamphetamine and 1.39 kilograms of cocaine, federal law enforcement agents also seized over $160,000 in cash, two firearms, and ammunition over the course of the investigation.

A total of eight individuals were convicted for their participation in the drug conspiracy along with a ninth man who was convicted of related drug charges. All nine received sentences of 41 months imprisonment or greater, with five, including Wilcox, receiving sentences of over ten years, two of which exceeded 20 years.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark A. Inciong and Michael Albanese handled the prosecution.