Woman faces 10 years for meth

LIHUE — A Kauai woman is facing federal charges after getting three pounds of salt in the mail.

According to charging documents in the case, police and federal authorities arrested Delta-Dawn Taniguchi on March 11 at her friend’s home in Lihue, where she had recently opened a package containing what she thought was methamphetamine.

Instead, she found a bag of vacuum sealed rock salt, a GPS tracker, fingerprint powder and an electronic monitoring device that had just transmitted a high-pitched tone to a beeper nearby, notifying police and federal agents that the package had been opened.

In a sworn affidavit attached to the criminal complaint against Taniguchi, an official with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service described the sting operation like this:

In late-February, a Kauai Police Department officer, acting on a tip from a confidential informant, contacted an official with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service with instructions to watch out for a parcel from California destined for a house on Mua Street in Lihue.

About a week later, postal inspectors intercepted the parcel and got a federal search warrant. Inside the box, they found 1,350 grams of a “white, crystal-like substance, which field-tested positive for methamphetamine.”

Law-enforcement officials confiscated the 3-pound bag of meth, replaced it with rock salt, and added tracking and monitoring equipment. Then they sent an undercover postal inspector, disguised as a letter carrier, to deliver the package.

A half-hour later, Taniguchi pulled up to the house and opened her mail. The beeper went off a short time after she went inside, and a team of police, postal inspectors and special agents entered the house and found Taniguchi alone, next to the opened parcel with fingerprint powder on her hands.

A pound of meth on Kauai is worth anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000.

According to the affidavit, Taniguchi made a statement to law enforcement officials after her arrest, admitting to buying the three pounds of meth using $15,000 she got from a man she referred to as “Fish,” who had given her the money to purchase and deliver to him two pounds.

“Taniguchi stated she was going to keep 1 pound of methamphetamine for herself,” and planned to give a “ball” of meth to her friend in exchange for letting her send drugs to his house, the affidavit said.

Federal prosecutors with the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Honolulu filed charges against Taniguchi on Tuesday. She is set to be arraigned Monday on one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, a felony charge that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in jail.


Caleb Loehrer, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0441 or cloehrer@thegardenisland.com.

  1. Clifton June 22, 2019 6:06 am Reply

    10yrs for meth, but 5 years for attempted murder? What a joke

  2. Palani June 22, 2019 7:19 am Reply

    So these geniuses paid $15,000 to buy Meth with a resale value between $10,000 to $15,000, and had it mailed to them via USPS? Well if that isn’t the best get-rich-quick scheme ever.
    It’s pretty good deal: now she’s going to get free room and board for ten years. That’s worth more than $15,000!
    I foresee a new Netflix comedy: “Meth-heads, what will they do next?”

    1. Mathishard June 24, 2019 10:44 pm Reply

      I guess math as well as reading comprehension is also hard for you. 3 lbs. 10-15k PER POUND. She paid $15,000 for 3 pounds. So she can sell 3lbs for $30-45k. Which would be $15-30k profit.

  3. ruthann jones June 22, 2019 6:15 pm Reply

    ten years for a woman with meth…..a slap on the hand of men who beat and kill their partners..

  4. harryoyama June 22, 2019 7:03 pm Reply

    So are the cops going to seize her home as well? Sometimes law enforcement use this for their own personnel use on seized property, which in this case she is not a dealer, but just a transfer endeavor. 10 years is pretty harsh compared to those drunk drivers who kill and get off with probation.

  5. Uncleaina June 23, 2019 4:06 am Reply

    Good job keeping that junk off of our island! That’s about 500 grams that won’t go into our community.

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