Updated: November 29, 2022
A multiagency undercover law enforcement operation targeting child sexual predators in Hawaiʻi resulted in the arrest of four individuals on charges related to the solicitation of minors. Those arrested include one National Guard member, two Sailors, and one soldier.
The operation, known as “Operation Keiki Shield,” was conducted from August 26-28 as part of the Hawaiʻi Department of the Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The operation included personnel assigned to Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division, the Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the US Secret Service, and the Honolulu Police Department.
“Each of the subjects used online platforms to solicit sex from undercover law enforcement officers whom they believed to be children,” according to an NCIS press release.
Five operations conducted jointly between military and civilian law enforcement as part of Operation Keiki Shield since 2019 have resulted in 28 arrests and 16 convictions. Multiple investigations are pending prosecution.
Each operation included the participation of between 40 and 55 law enforcement personnel, including special agents, intelligence analysts, and administrative staff.
The Hawaiʻi Department of the Attorney General ICAC Unit leads the Hawaiʻi ICAC Task Force, which aims to protect minors from the harm caused by offenders who use computers, cellular phones and Cyberspace to facilitate their crimes. This task force includes federal, military, state, and local jurisdictions. The area of responsibility for the Hawaiʻi ICAC Task Force includes the Hawaiian Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands and American Samoa.
“Through the concerted efforts of the Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit and its federal, state, and local partners, Hawaiʻi’s keiki are provided greater protection from the predatory actions of child sex offenders,” said Attorney General Holly Shikada in the announcement. “The investigation and prosecution of these cases can be both physically and emotionally difficult and demanding, so we thank the men and women of these agencies who tirelessly work to hold these sexual predators accountable.”
“NCIS extends sincere gratitude to our ICAC partners for their continued efforts to protect vulnerable children from online predators,” said Special Agent in Charge Barbara Jackson of the NCIS Hawaiʻi Field Office. “Together we remain committed to working together to proactively root out crime that threatens the safety of communities where our Department of the Navy family lives and works.”
“Along with our Task Force partners, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations remains vigilant and is committed to identifying and investigating military members who use the internet to harm children,” said Special Agent Rhoshonda McGruder, Commander, AFOSI Detachment 601, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. “We are proud to be members of the Hawaii Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force team.”
“There is no work greater than protecting our community’s children,” said Special Agent in Charge Matthew Haywood, Pacific Field Office, Schofield Barracks, Hawaiʻi, Army CID. “The men and women of Army CID’s Pacific Field Office will proudly continue to work with our partner law enforcement agencies to keep our children safe.”
“We continue to bring all our investigative capabilities to those who seek to harm keiki in Hawai’i,” said Special Agent in Charge John F. Tobon of HSI Honolulu. “This predator operation serves as a warning that HSI and its law enforcement partners will work diligently to protect our children.”
NCIS is a federal law enforcement agency that investigates felony crime, prevents terrorism, and protects secrets for the US Department of the Navy. NCIS employs approximately 2,000 personnel, including 1,000 federal special agents, in 41 countries and 191 locations around the world.