Native Hawaiian "Marshals" credited with finding pot - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Native Hawaiian "Marshals" credited with finding huge amount of pot

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

After his arrest John Zachary Toyofuku told authorities he knew the shipping container had a lot of drugs. He called it a "suicide mission" saying if he didn't do it "he would be in a lot of trouble." He's in a different kind of trouble now.

Approximately 176 pounds of marijuana were found a week ago. The pot had labels with names like "grand daddy" and "blue berry." It was brought in via shipping container from San Leandro, California. Then somehow the container made it to Anonui Street near the Royal Kunia Golf Course.

That's where court documents say members of the "Kingdom of Hawaii Marshals" somehow opened it up and found the drugs. They then reported it to police.

The Kingdom of Hawaii Marshals are private citizens without any law enforcement authority.

"It's good to a point. You always want to have good neighbors if you see something say something type of attitude, but when private citizens begin to take on the role of law enforcement you are going to run into problems. You're going to have confrontations and you have property rights. You don't want people going around breaking into other people's homes or cars or in this case a locked container," said Victor Bakke, attorney and legal analyst.

Police need a search warrant, but citizens do not. However they still can't trespass, break in or burglarize to get the evidence or they can open themselves up to potential criminal or even civil lawsuits from the people they turned in.

"Anytime somebody does that even the best of Samaritans, a good Samaritan can still be prosecuted if they break the law doing what they believe to be the right thing which everyone may agree is the right thing. They caught a bad guy but you don't want everyone running around playing sheriff," said Bakke.

In this case the Drug Enforcement Agency was able to arrest John Zachary Toyofuku. Court documents say he was the person who came to pick up the drugs.

Authorities also searched his Woodlawn Drive home in Manoa where they found several more empty baggies believed to be the previous shipment.

They also found notes referring to 144 pounds at $3,700 a pound for a total of $532,000. There was another note totaling shipments worth more than $1.5 million.

That money is still missing although they didn't search the house until five days after his arrest and appeared to be cleaned out.

Toyofuku was released to a halfway house today. His attorney is still figuring out who the Kingdom of Hawaii Marshals are and how they knew what they knew.

We reached out to them as well and haven't heard back.

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