Marijuana Sweep 04/07/99

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
HILO VICE SECTION
LIEUTENANT HENRY TAVARES
PHONE: 961-2253
APRIL 7, 1999
F-90863/PN

MEDIA RELEASE

Big Island police Wednesday (April 7, 1999) seized 14,005 marijuana plants ranging in height from seedlings to 5 feet as part of their continuing “Counter-Cannabis Field Operation.”

The plants were seized in the Kurtistown, Mauna Loa Estates, Hawaiian Acres, Paradise Park, Waawaa, Kapoho, Kalapana and Keaau areas of the Puna District.

Wednesday’s haul brings the total number of marijuana plants seized during the three-day operation to 24,752.

Joining Big Island police in the eradication enforcement effort were personnel from the Honolulu and Maui police departments, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Hawaii Army National Guard and the State Department of Conservation and Resources Enforcement.

In conjunction with the eradication mission, police executed a search warrant on a residence in Hawaiian Acres subdivision and discovered an indoor marijuana growing operation. Police arrested the residents, Charles Hammett, 53, and his wife, Poranan Hammett, 45.

The couple was arrested on two counts of commercial promotion of marijuana, and one count of possessing drug paraphernalia after police recovered 2,430 marijuana plants in various growing stages, 3.6 pounds of dried processed marijuana packaged for distribution and scales and growing pots.

The Hammetts are being held in the police cellblock pending further investigation.

Lieutenant Henry Tavares, head of the Hilo Vice Section, said: “We would like to thank the general public for its understanding and patience during the three days of our marijuana eradication mission. We want to encourage residents to continue providing information on areas where marijuana plants are being grown.

“The police will be continuing their efforts to keep our Big Island community safe from illicit drugs and the crime and violence associated with it.”

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