Five men were arrested and four have been charged with a felony sex offense in a sting operation on the Big Island authorties are calling “Operation Keiki Shield.”
The four charged with electronic enticement of a child are: 45-year-old Nolan Okalani Tallett of Honolulu, 31-year-old Kanani Ikaika Perreira Yurong of Hilo, 28 year-old Sonny Eugenio Puerto of Kurtistown, and 36-year-old Joseph Michael Powell of Hilo.
The offense is a Class B felony carrying a possible 10-year prison term upon conviction.
Tallett was released from custody after posting $50,000 bail.
The other three remain in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail apiece and are scheduled to appear this afternoon in Hilo District Court.
The fifth man, 31-year-old Marshall K. Baji of Naalehu was arrested on suspicion of electronic enticement of a child, promoting pornography for minors and promoting minor-produced sexual images. He remained in police custody this afternoon while detectives continued to investigate.
Hawaii County Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen said that, in addition to his office, the operation involved the Hawaii Police Department, Department of the Attorney General, Internet Crimes Against Children’s Task Force, Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI and the Kauai Police Department.
“Protecting our keiki from sexual predators is a top priority of our Office,” Waltjen said in a statement. “Operation Keiki Shield is a collaborative effort by the Hawaii Island law enforcement community along with state and federal partners to prevent child sexual exploitation and abuse. Our office is committed to seeking justice for these egregious offenses to the fullest extent of the law.”
This story will be updated in Tuesday’s edition of the Tribune-Herald.