Today, Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen announced that five men were arrested this past weekend as a part of “Operation Keiki Shield,” an initiative focused on identifying and arresting offenders who commit internet-facilitated sex crimes against minors and rescuing victims of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
45 year-old Nolan Okalani Tallett of Honolulu, 31 year-old Kanani Ikaika Perreira Yurong of Hilo, 28 year-old Sonny Eugenio Puerto of Kurtistown, and 36 year-old Joseph Michael Powell of Hilo were each charged with Electronic Enticement of a Child in the First Degree, a class B felony offense, which carries a penalty of ten years in prison.
Tallett was released after posting $50,000.00 bail, and Perreira Yurong, Puerto, and Powell remain in custody in lieu of $50,000.00 bail and are scheduled to make their initial appearances this afternoon in Hilo District Court.
The fifth man, 31-year-old Marshall K. Baji of Naalehu was arrested on suspicion of electronic enticement of a child, promoting pornography for minors and promoting minor-produced sexual images. He remained in police custody this afternoon while detectives continued to investigate..
The charges are merely allegations, and the Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Operation Keiki Shield included members of numerous law enforcement agencies, including the Hawai‘i Police Department, Hawai‘i County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, Department of the Attorney General, Internet Crimes Against Children’s (“ICAC”) Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Kaua‘i Police Department.
“Protecting our keiki from sexual predators is a top priority of our Office. Operation Keiki Shield is a collaborative effort by the Hawai‘i Island law enforcement community along with State and Federal partners to prevent child sexual exploitation and abuse. Our Office is committed to seeking justice for these egregious offenses to the fullest extent of the law,” said Prosecuting Attorney Waltjen. “Our Office would also like to extend a big Mahalo the Department of the Attorney General, Clare E. Connors, Attorney General, and Ed Arias, ICAC Commander and his ICAC Task Force team, and Police Chief Paul Ferreira and Lieutenant Sandor Finkey, Area I Juvenile Aid Section, Hawai‘i Police Department, for their assistance in coordinating this weekend’s Operation.”
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney remains dedicated to the pursuit of justice with integrity and commitment. Anyone having information to assist local law enforcement or who are aware of any Internet activity that may be dangerous to children should call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 in East Hawai‘i or (808) 329-8181 in West Hawai‘i.