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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 1:13 p.m., Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Nearly 6,000 marijuana plants seized on Kauai

By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer

Nearly 6,000 marijuana plants with a street value of about $5.9 million have been seized on Kaua'i, state and federal law enforcement officials announced this morning.

The "largest outdoor growing operation ever prosecuted in Hawai'i" was discovered at the foot of Mount Wai'ale'ale in the area referred to as the "Blue Hole," officials said.

Five people, including a convicted federal felon, have been arrested and charged with manufacturing with intent to distribute more than 1,000 marijuana plants as a part of "Operation Green Stream," officials said.

Arrested on Kauai Friday were Edward H. Holland, 55; Mark Steven Darling, 52; Robert Jason Bihm, 28; Melissa Ann Bihm, 27; and Ryan Edward Bihm, 23.

All but Holland face between 10 years and life in prison if convicted.

Holland was arrested and convicted in 1991 with possessing with intent to distribute 97 pounds of marijuana. He served four years in federal prison.

Because of his prior federal drug conviction, Holland faces between 20 years and life in prison.

The group is set to appear in federal court at 3 this afternoon.

Reach Peter Boylan at pboylan@honoluluadvertiser.com.