98 arrested in warrant sweep 07-02-04

PHONE: 961-2244
JULY 2, 2004


Law enforcement officers arrested 98 fugitives wanted on outstanding bench warrants during a seven-day sweep on the Big Island.

Thirty-five officers from federal, state and county law enforcement agencies took part in the sweep, named “Operation Pono Hawaii,” which started Friday (June 25, 2004) and ended Thursday (July 1, 2004).

In addition to serving 150 outstanding bench warrants, officers initiated 54 cases — 14 for promotion of dangerous drugs, three for commercial promotion of marijuana, 15 for promotion of detrimental drugs, 15 for illegal possession of drug paraphernalia, two for having no permit to acquire a firearm, one for forgery, one for resisting arrest, one for fraudulent use of a license plate and two for illegal possession of electric stun guns. During the operation, they also executed four search warrants.

Hawaii County Police Chief Lawrence K. Mahuna announced the results of the sweep at a news conference held Friday at the Hilo police station.

Mahuna noted that Operation Pono Hawaii targeted federal, state and local felony fugitives who had been charged with drug offenses or who had criminal histories involving drugs or drug-related violence.

Mahuna said the sweep was conducted by the Hawaii Fugitive Task Force (HFTF), a special group formed by the U.S. Marshals Service and composed of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

The HFTF was organized to help the four county police departments apprehend felony fugitives wanted by federal, state and local authorities. Statewide, there are more than 1,000 felony warrants outstanding.

Besides officers from the Hawaii County Police Department, Operation Pono Hawaii included officers from the U.S. Marshal’s Office; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Attorney’s Office; the State Department of Public Safety’s Sheriff Division; the Hawaii County Prosecutor’s Office; and the Maui Police Department.

“What we did was pool all our resources and work together to apprehend as many felony fugitives as we could find,” Mahuna said.

“This operation will have a major impact in reducing street crime committed in a large part by these individuals.”

“Operation Pono Hawaii”

  • 150 Bench Warrants served
  • 98 individuals arrested
  • 14 Promoting Dangerous Drugs investigations
    • 6.8 grams of crystal methamphetamine or “ice”
  • 3 Commercial Promotion of Marijuana investigations
  • 15 Promoting Detrimental Drugs investigations
    • 339 marijuana plants recovered, seedlings to six feet
    • 8.5 ounces dried marijuana
  • 15 Drug Paraphernalia investigations
    • Numerous pipes, packets, scales and other paraphernalia
  • 2 Permit to Acquire investigations
    • Ruger Mini 14 .223 caliber
    • .22 Magnum
  • 1 Forgery investigation
    • 5 counterfeit twenty dollar bills
  • 4 other investigations
    • 1 Resisting Arrest
    • 1 Fraudulent Use of a License Plate
    • 2 Illegal Possession of an Electric Stun Gun

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