Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

PJKK Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 6-100
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850

(808) 541-2850
Fax: (808) 541-2958

For Immediate Release

August 26, 2010

Florence Nakakuni, United States Attorney

Contact: Elliot Enoki

Grand Jury Indicts Honolulu Man for Fireworks Offenses

HONOLULU, HAWAII — A federal grand jury indicted Honolulu resident Brandon C. Haleamau, age 26, yesterday on three charges of transporting display fireworks without a license, one charge of importing display fireworks from China by means of a false declaration, and one charge of structuring financial transactions totaling over $1.1 million to evade federal currency transaction reporting requirements. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of $345,421.70 seized from Halemau's credit union account, a 2009 Acura sedan, a 2009 Nissan coupe, and a 2008 Lexus sedan. At Haleamau’s arraignment today before Magistrate Judge Kevin S. C. Chang, trial was set for October 26, 2010, before Senior United Stated District Court Judge Helen Gillmor.

Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that the indictment alleges that: in 2007 Haleamau caused to be transported and received 278 cases of 1.3G type display fireworks without the proper federal license, and that in December 2008, Haleamau attempted to import from China 1.3G type display fireworks by falsely declaring them as 1.4G type consumer fireworks. Under federal law, a Currency Transaction Report must be filed by a financial institution with the Internal Revenue Service in regard to any currency transaction over $10,000. It is illegal to structure transactions with financial institutions in order to avoid this filing requirement. The indictment alleges that Haleamau structured 283 such transactions.

Haleamau faces a maximum periods of imprisonment of ten years on each of the transportation charges, two years on the importation charge, and five years on the structuring charge. Charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The indictment culminated investigations by Homeland Security Investigations (formerly Immigration and Customs Enforcement); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and the Internal Revenue Service. Assistant United States Attorney Darren W.K. Ching is prosecuting this case.