LIHUE — A joint law enforcement agency operation targeting online sexual predators resulted in the arrests of three Kauai men over the weekend, according to state and county officials.
The Hawaii Attorney General’s office and the Kauai Police Department issued press releases on Monday, announcing the results of Operation Keiki Shield, “an unprecedented series of law enforcement operations” that involved county police officers and staff from over a dozen county, state, federal and military agencies and led to a total of 25 arrests.
“Keiki Shield III” was conducted on Kauai during the first half of November, following two similar operations on Oahu earlier this year, according to the KPD’s news release.
The identities of the suspects on Kauai were not released, but KPD arrest records show that three men were arrested between Friday evening and Sunday — Angel Dimas, 25, of Kapaa; Clint Yago, 32, of Hanamaulu; and Ty Nakamoto, 26, of Wailua — for “electronic enticement of a child,” a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Dimas pleaded no contest to selling tobacco to a minor in 2015 and was fined $500. Nakamoto’s has no record of prior criminal history in Kauai outside of traffic citations.
Law enforcement officers posed as children on internet websites, set up meetings with predators who approached them seeking “sex or sexual activities,” and arrested the suspects when they showed up the agreed upon location, according to the AG’s press release.
The Department of the Attorney General held a press conference Monday, where KPD Chief Todd Raybuck issued a statement thanking the law enforcement agencies involved in the operation for their aggressive and steadfast mission to seek and arrest child predators,” which he said generated “several additional persons of interest” in addition to the three arrests.
“As the chief of police for the Kauai Police Department, but more importantly, as a father and husband, there is nothing more important to me than the safety of our keiki,” Raybuck said. “Child predators are something we never want to think about. But as parents, guardians, family and community members, we must be aware of the dangers our children face on the internet.”
Raybuck also called for parents to monitor the online activities of their children and to talk to them about the risks of communicating with strangers online. His statement also included a warning for any child predators that haven’t been caught.
“This message today is not just for our families,” Raybuck continued. “We are also speaking directly to current and potential sexual predators. Soliciting children for sex and sexual activities will not be tolerated.”
Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar, whose office was also among the agencies involved in the operation, also issued a statement Monday, saying, “Our office is committed to protecting our most vulnerable members. We will not rest in that mission and we will continue using the best technology available to remain well ahead of online predators.”