FBI heroin bust leads to 11 arrests on Oahu, one in California - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

FBI heroin bust leads to 11 arrests on Oahu, one in California

Tom Simon Tom Simon
Chris Buddenhagen Chris Buddenhagen

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

MOILIILI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A big win for the FBI - federal agents say they've broken up a heroin distribution ring.

This, after a 16-month investigation ended with a dozen indictments.

The feds say the alleged dealers operated out of high-profile Honolulu parking lots.

On Tuesday, some of them made their first court appearance. The rest of the defendants will make theirs on Wednesday.

The drug bust went down at the parking lot at Yama's Fish Market in Moiliili. The FBI says agents confiscated three pounds of black tar heroin worth more than $200,000.

"This investigation involved multiple wire taps, and informants. We had people cooperating with us every step of the way," said Tom Simon, a FBI spokesperson.

The FBI says the drug deal happened December 1, 2009 and started at the Safeway parking lot in Kapahulu. Agents say that's where money and heroin were exchanged. The FBI says an alleged dealer was going to sell some of the drug to a customer at the McCully Bike Shop parking lot, but decided to make the transaction at Yama's Fish Market instead. That's when agents made the bust. Some residents say they're not surprised..

"There's quite a lot of activity going on around this neighborhood. I've seen like subtle movements of money and whatever else between people," said Chris Buddenhagen, a Moiliili resident.

The indictment names 12 people. 11 of them are from Oahu and the 12th person is an Los Angeles resident. The FBI says he's the alleged source of the heroin ring, delivering the drug from the mainland to Hawaii.

"Heroin is a particularly insidious drug because it's so addictive. The addicts need to commit other crimes to feed their habits such as breaking into cars, homes, and garages to steal items from the good people of Honolulu so they could feed their drug habit," said Simon.

Three pounds of heroin may not seem like much, especially in cities like LA or New York, but Simon says it's a huge deal in Hawaii, because it's not as prevalent on the islands as meth.

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