Nine Arrested in Undercover Vice Operation 01-04-01

PHONE: 961-2249
JANUARY 4, 2001


Nine persons have been arrested, mostly for promoting dangerous drugs, after a year-long undercover operation conducted by Hilo Vice Section officers.

More than 100 investigations, conducted from January through December 2000, focused on various kinds of illegal vice activities.

The activities included gambling; cruelty to animals related to cockfighting; the distribution of heroin, crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine (“ice”), methadone, marijuana and prescription medication; and prostitution.

Arrested were:

For promoting heroin — Kevin Murphy, 38, of Pahoa, Puna; Marian Cummings, 34, of Pahoa; Chris Ochoa, 36, of Hawaiian Paradise Park, Puna; and Cheryl Dietrich, 39, of Pahoa.

For promoting crack cocaine — Donald Sales, 43, and Karin Shimizu, 24, both of Hilo.

For distributing methadone — Richard Merkin, 48, of Mountain View, Puna.

For promoting crystal methamphetamine — Jackie Overturf, 31 of Hilo.

For prostitution — Edward Salas, 22, of Hilo.

The suspects were released pending further investigation.

The investigations are continuing, and additional suspects are being sought as a result of the undercover operation.

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