LIHUE — Police have arrested a man they say was the target of a months-long investigation into an alleged drug trafficking operation that brought methamphetamine and heroin to the island from Oregon and California.
Kauai Police Department officers pulled over Kameron Lawhead Thursday afternoon, after a woman called KPD dispatch to report he was driving near Lihue with drugs in his vehicle, according to court documents submitted by the KPD in support of Lawhead’s arrest and extended detention.
A statement by the arresting officer said a police dog was “alerted to the odor of narcotics” in Lawhead’s vehicle at the time of the arrest, and a subsequent search turned up 14.4 grams of crystal meth — an amount worth about $1,000 on the street, according to recent Drug Enforcement Administration estimates.
Lawhead was charged with promoting a dangerous drug in the second degree and is being held on $500,000 bail. He was scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon, but according to a county spokesperson, Lawhead “reported medical symptoms” in the morning and was transported to Wilcox Medical Center where he was treated and later returned to KPD custody.
The 44-year-old Kilauea resident has a criminal record that dates back over 25 years. The arresting officer’s declaration describes Lawhead as a “career criminal” and “an admitted heroin and crystal methamphetamine addict,” with a propensity for drug-related and violent crime, who has “extreme financial resources” and contacts in California, Oregon and “throughout the state of Hawaii.”
Aside from his most recent arrest, Lawhead faces a slew of charges in multiple separate cases.
After his arrest on drug-related charges in 2018, Lawhead posted bail and left Kauai for the mainland. He was picked up by Oregon State Police in October for possession of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and a restricted weapon, according to police, who claim phone calls Lawhead made from jail in Oregon show he “was aware that he had a pending warrant and fled to Oregon on the belief that they would not extradite to Hawaii.”
Shortly after his arrest in Oregon, Lawhead posted bail and was extradited back to Kauai, where he once again bailed out and was released pending trial. His freedom was short-lived.
On Feb. 8, KPD officers arrested Lawhead for allegedly stabbing a man “as a result of an altercation related to vehicle sales/mechanical work,” according to the KPD officer’s statement, which also says Lawhead “immediately bailed out using cash that he had on his person in the amount of $10,000.”
Less than a month later, Lawhead and his girlfriend were arrested again, after KPD vice officers allegedly caught the pair with narcotics in their carry-on luggage at Lihue Airport, and at some point prior to that incident, a few grams of crystal meth were found in a sedan Lawhead was authorized to pick up from a shipping company in Lihue, according to police.