Sacramento, California - A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment Thursday against a Honolulu woman, charging her with conspiracy to distribute heroin, and two counts of possessing heroin with intent to distribute heroin, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, between October 24, 2019, and November 16, 2019, Arlene‑Alena Keko Olani, 29, conspired with an inmate at High Desert State Prison to fly from Honolulu to Sacramento, rent a car, obtain heroin, and then try to surreptitiously pass the drugs to the inmate during a contact visit at the prison.

Investigators learned of the plot by listening to recorded prison calls and decoding the calls between Keko Olani and the inmate. When Keko Olani flew from Honolulu and landed in Sacramento on Nov. 15, investigators spotted her in the airport and identified the silver Toyota Camry she rented to carry out the smuggling operation. On Nov. 16, 2019, Keko Olani arrived at High Desert State Prison in Susanville. Investigators seized heroin she had hidden on her person. They also discovered additional heroin in her rental car parked in the prison parking lot.  

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, Susanville Police Department, Lassen County District Attorney’s Office, and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hitt is prosecuting the case.

Keko Olani made her initial appearance on March 11, and was ordered released on bond.

If convicted, Keko Olani faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF Program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.