Police investigate possible link between Kailua kidnapping and Big Island drug ring

Caitlyn Faulkner & Amy Higham
Caitlyn Faulkner & Amy Higham
Jeff Veal
Jeff Veal
John Toyofuku
John Toyofuku

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu police are investigating a possible link between the kidnapping of two men in Kailua over the weekend and drug dealers on the Big Island. Sources say as many as seven members of a Big Island marijuana ring may have flown to Oahu to settle a drug dispute.

Meanwhile, some Kailua residents are concerned about the dark cloud that has moved over their community.

Each day, Caitlyn Faulkner and Amy Higham serve up shrimp plates and other goodies at a stand at Kailua Beach. This town is not only where they work, it's where they grew up.

"It's a very community kind of neighborhood," Faulkner said. "There's always a lot of barbeques going on, reunions, kids in the park."

But on this day, it's hard not to notice the officer across the street guarding the scene of a violent kidnapping.

Police say four suspects armed with guns and wearing ski masks tied up two men and held them against their will inside an Alala Road home. Sources say the abductors are believed to be members of a drug ring on the Big Island, and that this was not a random attack.

"That's never been what Kailua has been about," Faulkner said. "It just kind of makes you aware of what's being brought into Kailua."

Investigators say the assailants were taking the victims around in a van Sunday, when an off-duty officer noticed one being assaulted. When the officer tried to intervene, the vehicle took off.

It was later found in a Kaneohe neighborhood. Police located John Toyofuku, 29, and arrested him on suspicion of felony kidnapping. Sources say he has two prior arrests, but no convictions.

Officers with HPD's Specialized Services Division scoured the area for additional suspects. No one else has been arrested.

"It's scary," Higham said. "I mean, we both ride our bikes to work sometimes. Sometimes we don't leave til 6:30 (PM), so that's scary."

But some Kailua beachgoers say they don't feel threatened, calling the crime an isolated incident.

"They probably had it coming to them for one reason or another," Jeff Veal, Kailua beachgoer, said. "But it's only one thing, so I wouldn't be worried about it."

Investigators are waiting for search warrants for the house and van.

Police say the victims, ages 33 and 24, were not seriously hurt.

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