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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 27, 2002

5 arrested in raid at Kalihi residence

By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer

Police raided a Kalihi home last night in search of a suspected gambling operation and illegal drugs.

They had made five arrests by 11:30 p.m., with more expected by the end of the night. Two of the arrests were on gambling charges, two on drug charges and one on an outstanding warrant.

Arriving with a search warrant, police swept through the home at 686 Bannister St. just before 10:40 p.m., said Capt. Kevin Lima of the Honolulu police narcotics/vice division.

He said there were more than 50 people at the house, which was the scene of a fatal beating on Nov. 16, 2001.

Officers swarmed over the house, some wearing flak jackets and ski masks.

"That's the cockfighting house," said a neighbor. "I see them always going in and out of the house."

The house is mauka of the O'ahu Community Correctional Center.

Last November, Leon R. Fernandez, 39, of Kane'ohe, died and Eufracio Esmeralda, 41, was seriously injured during a fight that spilled over from a cockfight at the Bannister Street address.

In that case, police charged four men with second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder.

The Bannister Street house has long been the best-known cockfighting spot in Honolulu, according to police.

Vice detectives say the operation has been hard to shut down because the one entrance to the home makes it difficult to get officers inside the yard so they can make an arrest.

No cockfighting was going on at the time of last night's raid.