KAILUA-KONA, Hawai‘i Island — Hawai‘i Island police have charged four Kona men for child sex solicitation as part of a multi-agency undercover operation designed to identify and arrest individuals using the internet to facilitate sexual crimes against children.
Between Friday, March 31, and Sunday, April 2, 2023, the Hawai‘i Police Department partnered with the Hawai‘i County Prosecutor’s Office and the Hawai‘i Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which consists of personnel and law enforcement officers from the Honolulu Police Department, Maui Police Department, Department of Attorney General, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to conduct Operation Keiki Shield.
Operation Keiki Shield is a statewide, coordinated effort involving local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies tasked with the investigation and prosecution of internet-facilitated crimes against children. The sting operation took place in Kona via the internet with investigators posing as underage teens.
During the operation, the following suspects were arrested and charged:
Micaiah Hoomaikai Smith, age 31, was charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child and attempted promoting pornography for minors. His bail was set at $15,000 and he was released after posting bail.
Joseph Michael Marshall, age 42, was charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child. His bail was set at $10,000 and he was given supervised release.
Vincent Antonio, age 36, was charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child. His bail was set at $10,000 and he was given supervised release.
Ryen Knapp, age 40, was charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child, endangering the welfare of minor. His bail was set at $50,000 and he was released after posting bail.
In lieu of a preliminary hearing, Grand Jury indictments were subsequently issued for all four men on April 5, 2023, and further proceedings will be heard in Circuit Court.
Source: The Garden Island