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California man faces life in prison

LIHUE — A California man is facing up to life in prison after he was arrested by Kauai police for drug trafficking in March.

Roman Gabriel Contreras, 44, of Ontario, was arrested on March 24 after he flew from Los Angeles to Lihue with a large amount of crystal methamphetamine. Officers from KPD and the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested Contreras when he landed at the Lihue Airport and they located almost three pounds of meth hidden in his baggage.

On July 6, a federal jury found Contreras guilty of attempted possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine.

Contreras, who has a prior conviction for promoting methamphetamine, faces up to life in prison, with a mandatory 20-year federal prison sentence. He will appear before District Judge Derrick K. Watson Oct. 21.

The arrest was the result of a nearly two-month investigation by KPD’s Vice Section, with assistance from the DEA. Prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Muehleck.

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