Simpson pleads not guilty in airport ‘ice’ case

LIHU’E — The second of two people caught at the Lihu’e Airport allegedly carrying crystal methamphetamine, or ice, pleaded not guilty to the offenses of methamphetamine trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Catlin Malia Simpson, 21, appeared before Circuit Court Kathleen Watanabe on Monday, to enter her plea to two felony counts that came about after she was arrested at the airport in October.

Watanabe set Simpson’s jury trial for Feb. 27, the same day that co-defendant Edward Kauo is set to go to trial.

Simpson is free after posting $21,000 bail.

She was indicted by members of a Kaua’i grand jury on Dec. 19 on charges of methamphetamine trafficking, and for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Methamphetamine trafficking is a Class-A felony, and carries a mandatory minimum prison term of five years. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class-C felony, and carries a maximum prison term of five years. Simpson and Edward Kamakahea Kauo were indicted on the same charges. He pleaded not guilty to the felony counts late last month.

The estimated street value of the seizure is between $200,000 and $225,000, Kaua’i Police Department officers said.

Officers with KPD’s Narcotics Enforcement Unit and Ice Task Force, acting on a tip from a member of the public, arrested Kauo and Simpson when they arrived at the airport on Oct. 10, police said.

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