A Kaua’i man arrested on July 22 on federal firearms charges stemming from an investigation into the illegal taking of green sea turtles pleaded not guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.
Daniel Lee Isobe, 35, of Kapa’a, was indicted July 25 of being a felon in possession of a firearm; and a felon in possession of ammunition.
Isobe was the focus of an investigation of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement (DOCARE) in connection with taking Hawaiian green sea turtles from Moloa’a Bay, a violation of the Endangered Species Act.
Officials with DOCARE said their investigation began on June 16 after remains of four green sea turtles were found on Moloa’a Bay. DOCARE received a tip called in to the statewide conservation hotline, originating on O’ahu the same day as the turtles were found.
Several days later, a call to the Kaua’i Police Department’s CrimeStoppers line furnished more clues, DOCARE officials said.
A firearm was recovered in Isobe’s residence in Kapa’a during the execution of a federal search warrant as part of the investigation.
Isobe, who had prior felony convictions of burglary, theft and escape, told investigators that he purchased the firearm from an unidentified source for $150, stated the criminal complaint.
A felon convicted of possession of a firearm can face a up to 10 years imprisonment.
Isobe remains at the Honolulu federal detention center since his arrest and first court appearance on July 22. Isobe is scheduled for a jury trial on Sept. 24 in U.S. District Court, Judge Helen Gillmor presiding.
Staff Writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at email@example.com or 245-3681 (ext. 252).