Police raid Kane'ohe home, arrest drug suspect
By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer
A 53-year-old man whom police accused of manufacturing crystal methamphetamine was arrested yesterday after officers raided his Kane'ohe home and allegedly found illegal drugs and drug-making chemicals.
"This is a pretty significant lab," said Lt. Michael Fujioka, of the Honolulu Police Department's Clandestine Drug Lab Response Team. "It has all the chemicals here to make methamphetamine from scratch. We did find some finished product."
It was the fifth drug lab police have raided this year, compared with seven all of last year, Fujioka said. The other labs raided this year were in Kalihi, the university area, Ala Moana and Nanakuli, Fujioka said.
"This guy knew what he was doing," Detective John Shaw said. "He was no mad scientist. He made his own gizmos to make 'ice.' This is one of the better homemade drug labs."
During the search, police recovered a gas mask, a gun and a garage-mounted surveillance system that was believed to safeguard the secret operation, Shaw said.
Yesterday's discovery of the drug lab confirmed the suspicions of neighbors who complained about chemical smells and heavy vehicular traffic at the house, Shaw said.
"My neighbors told me just stay away from that house, it's bad news," said Roger Carroll, who recently moved to the neighborhood and lives several houses away. "Evidently, everyone on the block was aware of the problem."
Workers from the fire department, emergency medical services and state Department of Health assisted police in the operation. Later, a contracted cleanup crew arrived to finish the job.
A preliminary investigation showed that the drug lab made "ounces" of crystal methamphetamine, which has a street value of about $3,000 an ounce, police said.
"The demand is out there," Shaw said. "We can't be everywhere. You just take your chance. But you'll get caught."
After searching the house, police tracked down the suspect, 53-year-old Henry Park Jr., in the Kane'ohe area and arrested him on suspicion of first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug. He was booked at the Kane'ohe station. Park's father, who lives on the ground floor of the Mahalani Circle home, was at the scene but did not comment to the media. The father was not arrested, police said.
Neighbors said the son previously worked as a salesman at a department store and at an auto dealership. He is divorced and rarely spoke with his father, neighbors said.