Police Find Punji Sticks 09/17/99

PHONE: 961-2253
SEPTEMBER 17, 1999


Big Island police have initiated a reckless endangering investigation after finding punji sticks near a marijuana patch during a Counter-Cannabis Field Operation.

Law enforcement officers found the punji sticks — waist-high sharpened sticks designed to wound the groin when officers rappel out of helicopters — during a marijuana eradication operation in the Hakalau area of South Hilo. No one was injured by the booby traps.

Aided by Honolulu and Maui police, the Hawaii Army National Guard, the Department of Conservation and Resource Enforcement and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, officers uprooted 14,225 marijuana plants during the four-day operation, which ended Friday.

The operation was concentrated in the Hawaiian Acres, Kapoho, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Fern Acres, Fern Forest, Pohoiki, Ainaloa, Orchidland and Kalapana areas of Puna; the Piihonua, Panaewa, Komohana, Pepeekeo, Honomu, Hakalau and Kings Landing area of South Hilo; and the Laupahoehoe, Ookala and Kapehu areas of North Hilo.

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