MOILIILI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police say crystal methamphetamine was the drug of choice for suspects arrested in a sweep at Moiliili and McCully parks this week.
As of late Thursday afternoon, all 15 men and women arrested on suspicion of drug offenses were still in custody at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, unable to bail out. Community members say the drug sweep has made a huge difference.
One-year-old Tabitha enjoys playing peek-a-boo at Stadium Park. Her father is feeling a lot more at ease, after a roundup of drug suspects at this park and other public areas in Moiliili and McCully this week.
"Usually when we come to the park, it's kind of scary to let her run around," Joey McCoy, Tabitha's father, said. "I don't know if it's because of the homeless situation or the drug situation. But today, I'm really surprised because it's clean. There's nobody here."
Police say they recovered crystal meth during their three-month investigation, which helped them secure arrest warrants for 20 suspects. Officers have rounded up 15 of them.
The suspects in custody are Patrick Soalo, Allyson Urusua, Reynold Oto, Peter Amerino, Keahi Acasia, Abigail Evangelista, Darryl Yagi, Makanamaikalani Kalima, Harry Mau, Georgette Preston, Mago Keleise, Rudy Vinigas, Patrick Amerino, Shari Nagasawa and Joann Speakes.
Families who enjoy Stadium Park are seeing the difference. They say some drug dealers would hang out near the bathrooms, but the area is now clear.
"I hope it stays this way because, you know, we want a safe place for our kids to play," McCoy said.
Patrons of the McCully-Moiliili Public Library say they noticed that the sidewalks right outside are now free of homeless people.
"It's really nice to have so much open space and none of the tents every foot or so," Irene Kanda, library patron, said. "It was totally covered with tents."
Police confirm many of the people arrested were homeless.
"I really didn't realize there was that much drug involved," Kanda said. "But I hope it's cleared now for people. I don't know how long it's going to last."
Bail for the suspects ranges from $11,000 to $40,000.
Police are still looking for the five others.