HONOLULU – A man is accused of using a Hawaii vacation rental to receive a package sent from California containing 11 pounds of methamphetamine.
Crystal meth is one of Hawaii's most popular illicit drugs. Drug traffickers often use the mail to smuggle it into the island state, where it sells for a premium.
Walter Rolando Atemio Dominguez Garcia was staying at an Airbnb vacation rental in east Honolulu in June when postal inspectors intercepted the package addressed to him, court documents said. A profile using a username "Walter" with a picture of Garcia wrote a review of the room located on Wilhelmina Rise, in the hills above Diamond Head.
"We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior and have permanently banned this user from our platform," Airbnb spokeswoman Mattie Zazueta said in a statement Thursday. "Airbnb reached out to the authorities to assist them with their investigation and we will help them in any way we can. There have been over 200 million guest arrivals in listings and negative incidents like this are incredibly rare."
In July, postal inspectors intercepted a package containing another 11 pounds of meth addressed to Garcia at an apartment in Waikiki, according court documents. In August, he allegedly tried to sell three pounds of meth and three ounces of cocaine to an undercover officer for $30,000.
Alexander Silvert, his federal public defender, said he doesn't yet have much information about the case.
Earlier this week, a magistrate judge ordered that Garcia be detained without bail.