KPD nabs 24 drug suspects

The Kaua‘i Police Department recently concluded its operation “Round-Up” after four months of extensive investigation into drug trafficking around the island, according to a news report from Lt. Eric Shibuya of the Narcotics-Vice unit.

KPD officers, working in conjunction with members of the Maui Police Department, Hawai‘i County Police Department and United States Marshals Service over a 2 1/2-day stretch this week, arrested 35 individuals on more than 100 charges, according to the report.

Provided to The Garden Island by KPD Chief Darryl Perry, the report said the operation “targeted street level users and dealers as well as mid-level dealers.”

Shibuya and county prosecuting attorney Craig De Costa said that many of the arrest warrants had been handed down in sealed grand jury indictments in recent months, and the report said that 14 of the suspects were arrested for outstanding bench warrants.

The arrested individuals range in age from 20 to 61, in hometowns from Hanalei in the north to Waimea in the west, and in severity of charge from contempt of court, failure to appear and revocation of probation, all misdemeanors, to second-degree methamphetamine trafficking, a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Seven suspects were arrested on suspicion of a new crime, which was passed into law in 2006, penalizing the distribution of any amount of methamphetamines, and prescribes a mandatory minimum imprisonment term of between one and four years for first-time offenders.

Some 14 suspects were arrested on suspicion of promoting a drug, which covers both possession and distribution, and 10 suspects will be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the report.

• Michael Levine, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or via e-mail at mlevine@kauaipubco.com

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