Nine arrested in East Hawaii drug busts 10-09-03

PHONE: 961-2340
OCTOBER 9, 2003


Nine persons have been arrested for a variety of drug offenses as the result of the execution of three search warrants over the past week in East Hawaii.

The search warrants were carried out by the Police Department’s East Hawaii Ice Task Force, the East Hawaii Vice Section and Puna Patrol.

During the most recent search warrant, executed at 10 a.m. Wednesday (October 8, 2003) at a residence on Ainako Drive in Hilo, officers arrested Terence Hirata, 45, after finding 55.6 grams of heroin, 56.9 grams of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” 15 methdadone tablets and 25 oxycontin tablets. In addition, officers confiscated a 9mm rifle with a silencer and a scope, 24 marijuana plants and 337 grams of dried marijuana and $2,410 in cash.

Hirata was arrested for promotion of dangerous drugs and illegal possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held in the Hilo police cellblock pending further investigation.

At 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, East Hawaii Vice officers arrested five persons during the execution of a search warrant when they discovered a clandestine “cold” methamphetamine laboratory inside an Oahu Road home in the Nanawale Estates subdivision of Puna. Officers also discovered a “box” laboratory outside the residence.

Officers recovered drug-making material, including anhydrous ammonia, pill binder material, alcohol, toluene, solvents, muriatic acid and hydrogen peroxide. They seized other items used in the production of illegal drugs and handwritten notes on chemical ratios and equipment setup. They also recovered numerous smoking pipes with residue, small ziploc packets, cut straws, tablets, marijuana and handwritten drug payment notes.

As a result of the search warrant, they arrested five persons, all of the Oahu Road address, for promoting dangerous drugs, promoting detrimental drugs and illegal possession of drug paraphernalia. The arrestees were Lionel Tarape, 53, Donna Tarape, 51, Debra Soto, 39, Shelley Stapleton, 38, and Michael Jones, 50.

The five are being held on the Hilo police cellblock pending further investigation.

On Saturday (October 4, 2003), East Hawaii Vice and Puna Patrol officers arrested three persons after executing a search warrant at a residence located on Road 2 in the Hawaiian Acres subdivision of Puna, in which they discovered an indoor and greenhouse marijuana cultivation operation. After the initial search, officers obtained two more search warrants on an adjoining property and a vehicle. On the adjoining property, they found another greenhouse operation.

Police recovered 2,911 marijuana plants, stalks and uprooted marijuana plants, and 43 pounds of dried processed marijuana and branches. They also recovered 2.7 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms.

Arrested were Michael Barnes, 47, Lucas Komo Manzano-Hill, 26, and Christopher Bath, 21, all of Hawaiian Beaches. Bath and Manzano-Hill were release pending possible federal prosecution, and Barns was transported to Oahu, where he faces federal prosecution.

The department is in the process of forming two ice task forces, one in East Hawaii and the other in West Hawaii. Each will be composed of a detective-sergeant and two senior police officers.

The task forces will concentrate solely on the Big Island’s “ice” problem.

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