KPD says illegal drug use, sales decreasing
LIHU’E – Over the past three years, the Kaua’i Police Department has slowed
down the sale and use of drugs on the island, Police Chief George Freitas told
the County Council yesterday.
But more government funds, he said, are
needed to step up efforts to curtail the sale of marijuana and crystal
methamphetamine, which is fast becoming the drug of choice on
Between 1997 and 1999, the KPD, Freitas said, has compiled the
* The number of marijuana plants seized dropped from
34,526 to 30,603.
* Seized marijuana dropped from 4,222 to 2,385
* Seized cocaine dropped from 257 to 26 grams.
* Seized heroin
rose from 6.4 to 252 and dropped to 23 grams.
* Seized crystal
methamphetamine from 542 to 628 grams.
* The value of seized property rose
from $23,478 to $334,259.
Councilman Daryl Kaneshiro said the number of
illegal drug seizures reflects an aggressive effort by the police to “whack
them in their pockets.”
Freitas and his staff appeared Wednesday at a
meeting of the Council’s Public Safety/Intergovernmental Relations Committee.
The presentation was requested by Councilman Gary Hooser.
Green Harvest efforts have slowed down the cultivation of marijuana on
In 1999, KPD participated in four Green Harvest operations that
used helicopters to spot and eradicate marijuana plots, said Lt. Clayton
Arinaga, who heads the department’s vice division.
Surveillance of plots,
he said, resulted in multiple arrests and seizure of vehicles and
But, he added, marijuana is still being imported for sale on the
“Over the past year, more and more people are going elsewhere to
get their marijuana,” he said. “Still, we are making a difference as far as
what is available on the island.”
Residents are becoming very concerned
about the sale of crystal in their neighborhoods, said County Councilman Jimmy
The presence of ice houses has become a major concern of
neighborhoods he has visited, Tokioka said.
Property owners want the police
to step in and break up the drug operations, he said. Arinaga said residents
can make calls anonymously, and a police investigator will be assigned to the
So far, police have not identified homes where crystal
methamphetamine is produced, Arinaga said.
Adults on Kaua’i are buying
crystal methamphetamine more than any other drug, he said.
known as the “date-rape drug,” has been made its way to Kaua’i, Arinaga said.
The drug has been used by men to seduce women, he said.
education is needed to stem drug use on the island, Freitas said. In many
cases, residents would have a better idea of how to help police combat drug use
if they knew about the history of the drugs.
Freitas supported a proposal
by Councilmen Bryan Baptiste and Tokioka to have community residents meet to
discuss ways to set up public education programs and to explore ways drug use
can be discouraged on the island.
Freitas said discussion should focus on
how search and seizure powers of police can be strengthened.