Six More Arrested in Drug Operation 05/04/00

PHONE: 961-2340
MAY 4 2000


Hilo Vice Section detectives have arrested six more persons for a variety of drug offenses in connection with a joint operation by the Hawaii County Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

One of the six, Thomas S. Wusher, 37, of Hawaiian Paradise Park in Puna, has been charged by federal officials and will face federal prosecution, Acting Lieutenant Marshall K. Kanehailua of the Hilo Vice Section said. The rest will be tried in state courts.

In addition to the six arrests, police recovered more than seven ounces of cocaine, more than three-quarters of an ounce of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” and two more vehicles for forfeiture.

In all, 38 persons have been arrested so far as a result of the joint operation, and 10 of the arrestees have been charged by federal authorities and face federal prosecution.

Kanehailua said police are looking for more suspects, and the investigation is expected to continue over the next several months.

The arrests have put several upper-level drug dealers out of operation, Kanehailua said.

Most of the arrests were made as a result of undercover drug purchases and also from information supplied by anonymous phone calls.

Ten DEA agents, members of a special MET squad, arrived on the Big Island on February 22, 2000, and the joint undercover operation got under way two days later. The two-month operation focused on the illegal distribution of hard drugs — crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, including “crack” cocaine, and heroin — in East Hawaii.

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