Alleged Waikiki cocaine dealer is charged in Marine’s death
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser February 2, 2023
(Tribune News Service) — A Waikiki man who was arrested and found with “ghost guns “ and ammunition was charged by federal prosecutors with drug and gun crimes after he allegedly sold a fatal batch of cocaine to an active-duty Marine who overdosed and died on Jan. 23.
A Waikiki man who was arrested and found with “ghost guns“ and ammunition was charged by federal prosecutors with drug and gun crimes after he allegedly sold a fatal batch of cocaine to an active-duty Marine who overdosed and died on Jan. 23.
The criminal complaint filed Monday against Rayshaun “Nova“ Ducos, 25, included one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and another of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
He made his initial appearance in federal court Tuesday and is scheduled for a detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Rom A. Trader at 10 a.m. Friday. A preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. on Feb. 14.
On Jan. 23, Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents went to a home on Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe in response to a call about a man who may have overdosed. The victim, an active-duty Marine, was taken to the Adventist Health Castle hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3 : 09 a.m., according to the federal complaint.
Lt. Col. Kurt Stahl of Communication Strategy and Operations for the 3rd Marine Division told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the Marine who “tragically passed away during the morning hours of Jan. 23“ was Cpl. Adell Anderson, a Hawaii-based Marine within the division. “Our deepest condolences are with the friends and family of the Marine as we grieve this terrible loss,“ said Stahl, in a statement.
The number of fatal drug poisonings among Hawaii residents rose every year from 149 in 2012 to 269 in 2020, before falling to 234 in 2021, according to the state Department of Health.
Marine Corps Base Hawaii has a Substance Abuse Counseling Center for active duty service members, adult family members, reservists and civilian employees, according to Stahl. Following screening and assessment, diagnoses and treatment or program recommendations from SACC are confirmed by a Navy medical officer.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are investigating Ducos and other “identified and unidentified subjects, regarding the distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and other controlled substances, and conspiracy,“ according to the complaint.
Ducos’ attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Melinda K. Yamaga, did not immediately reply to a Star-Advertiser request for comment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara D. Ayabe declined comment.
On the day of the fatal overdose, a witness told investigators that Anderson bought cocaine from a person in Waikiki with the nickname “Nova“ in the hours before his death. On the night he died, Anderson snorted “two to three lines,“ the witness said.
The witness said that he knew the name “Nova“ because Anderson had bought cocaine from him near an Ala Wai Boulevard address on previous occasions. The witness unlocked the victim’s phone with “Nova’s“ contact information for investigators, who found calls, messages and Cash App transactions on Jan. 22.
NCIS and DEA agents also found messages from “an active NCIS confidential source,“ discussing alleged drug transactions with the victim on the night he bought the cocaine that killed him. The confidential source identified “Nova“ as a “cocaine source of supply for themselves and the victim.”
The confidential source faces no federal charges, and any future charges stemming from NCIS’ investigation will be conducted through the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to a footnote of the criminal complaint.
Any Marine who “uses, possesses, manufactures, distributes, imports“ or introduces illegal drugs to a military installation or property is subject to a court martial and could be involuntarily separated from service, according to the UCMJ.
On Jan. 21, the confidential source told investigators that he took a ride-share to an address on Launiu Street, where “Nova“ allegedly arrived in an orange Mitsubishi. The source said he got into the car and bought cocaine.
On Jan. 30 at about 7 :35 a.m. DEA agents “wearing police insignia and ballistic vests,“ went to Ducos’ Ala Wai Boulevard apartment with a search warrant. After knocking with no answer, the agents entered the apartment and allegedly found Ducos “laying on the floor, his feet inside the bathroom and the rest of him in the hall,“ according to the complaint.
After he was arrested, agents allegedly found a plastic container of cocaine in the bathtub. According to an affidavit from a DEA agent, once agents “knocked and announced their presence,“ Ducos tried to flush the cocaine down the toilet.
Investigators said a woman in the unit told them she didn’t live with Ducos and that she knew he sold cocaine.
A search of Ducos’ apartment allegedly turned up “a large, undetermined amount“ of cash in a nightstand beside the bed. A scale with white powder residue and plastic bags were found in a dresser near the bed, according to the complaint.
Federal agents confiscated a short-barreled rifle, separated into two separate pieces, with a drum magazine, according to the complaint. This rifle did not have a serial number. Agents also found multiple types of ammunition, including rifle rounds.
Agents said they also seized a “ghost-gun“ pistol with a loaded magazine from the bedroom closet and a small plastic bag of white powder from the living room. All the white powder in Ducos’ apartment tested positive for cocaine, according to the complaint.
On July 15, 2020, Ducos filed a lawsuit against the apartment association of owners of his Waikiki condo complex and one individual owner alleging that the owner tried to detain him in an elevator. He also claimed the owner accused him of being a drug dealer, according to the civil complaint filed in state court.
“The deliberately false statements were defamatory on their face, were intended to expose and did expose Plaintiff to hatred, contempt, ridicule, and obloquy,“ read part of the suit.
A judge granted Ducos a restraining order against the owner but the lawsuit was dismissed, according to state court records.
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