A 22-year-old Waikiki man facing life in prison in connection with the fatal fentanyl overdose of a U.S. Marine in November 2021 will be arraigned and enter a plea Thursday in federal court, accused of conducting numerous drug transactions with active duty military personnel.
Justin Hiroki Wu, 22, is charged with one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
According to a Jan. 13 criminal complaint, federal investigators allegedly found “numerous messages with multiple individuals discussing drug transactions for cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy, and oxycodone.”
“A number of these individuals messaging Wu for drug transactions were active duty military personnel,” according to the complaint.
Investigators allege Wu used Cash App and Venmo to move money.
“Through multiple interviews of military personnel who purchased drugs from Wu, investigators believe that the transactions with memo line of ‘food' were not for food but to disguise payments for drugs,” according to the complaint, that notes interviews with active-duty military members and at least one person expelled from the Marine Corps for testing positive for fentanyl.
Fentanyl overdose deaths in Hawaii hit a three-year high with 71 in 2022, according to the state Department of Health. That's up from 47 in 2021, and 34 in 2020.
“Fatal drug poisonings are an ongoing concern among Hawaii…