Kalihi police crack down on drug sales near school - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kalihi police crack down on drug sales near school

Violeta Ganitoen Violeta Ganitoen
Lloyd Schmitt IV Lloyd Schmitt IV
Danny Gaspar Danny Gaspar
Angelo Pasamonte Angelo Pasamonte

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

KALIHI (KHNL) - Many residents near Kalihi Uka Elementary are fed up with drug sales in the area. They say they're happy police took down multiple suspects Monday.

Following an undercover investigation, officers with the Kalihi Crime Reduction Unit arrested two men and one woman for allegedly dealing crystal methamphetamine near the school.

Violeta Ganitoen, 45, is escorted from the Kalihi police station to a waiting patrol car. She's accused of selling crystal meth near a place where children learn.

"Are you dealing drugs by a school?" this reporter asked.

"I'm not dealing drugs. I'm only using," the suspect replied.

Danny Gaspar, 37, and Angelo Pasamonte, 36, are also booked on suspicion of meth trafficking.

The three are accused of dealing ice within 1,000 feet of Kalihi Uka Elementary. If convicted, they face stiffer penalties.

"It's good they clean up the area, especially it's a school," Lloyd Schmitt IV, Kalihi resident, said. "It's around the children, so I support (the police operation)."

Schmitt lives in a halfway house in the neighborhood, and admits he used to use drugs near the school.

"Not something I like, you know, not something I'm proud of doing," he said. "I used to do drugs, steal from people and what not."

For him, getting arrested was a blessing. He says he's been clean for more than a year.

"For me, it's not too difficult because I know already the consequences I have," Schmitt said. "And I want to move on in life."

He believes there are fewer drug dealers in the area because of the police presence.

"They just kick back at the bus stops or they just hang out maybe little bit by the bathrooms," Schmitt said. "But they kind of stay away from the school 'cause I guess there's a lot of heat, eh, the cops."

The suspects are at the main police cellblock awaiting charges.

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