4 accused Maui marijuana traffickers in court tomorrow
Bail hearings are scheduled tomorrow for four of seven men charged last week on Maui with operating a drug-trafficking organization that allegedly exploited Hawai'i medical marijuana laws.
The two-year "Operation Weedkiller" task force investigation resulted in the warrent arrests Tuesday of Brian Murphy, 53, of Paia; Brian Igersheim, 31, of Makawao; William "Bill" Cox, 48, Haiku; Stuart Hirotsu, 48, of Wailuku; Robert "Bobby" Armitage, 58, of Wailuku; Douglas Kaleikini Sr., 54, of Wailuku, and John Cooper, 40, Kihei, and the seizure of 335 marijuana plants and clones; 2,300 grams of processed marijuana; 4,830 grams of unprocessed marijuana; 32 grams of hashish; 100 marijuana-laced candies; a vehicle; $14,085 cash, and other drug paraphernalia associated with marijuana growth and distribution.
The investigation was spearheaded by the Hawai'i Narcotics Task Force, Statewide Marijuana Eradication Task Force Task, and Hawai'i Inter-Agency Mobile Police Apprehension Crime Task Force, comprised of vice officers from the Maui, Big Island, Honolulu and Kaua'i police departments. They were assisted by the state Narcotics Enforcement Division, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Maui police Special Response Team and Criminal Intelligence Unit.
The arrests resulted in the total dismantling of the marijuana drug-trafficking organization, Maui police Capt. Gerald Matsunaga said in a news release.
Four suspects indicted as major conspirators with a combined total of 40 offenses were released last week after pleading not guilty to charges and posting bails ranging from $100,000 each for Murphy and Igersheim to $50,00 for Hirotsu, and $25,000 for Cox. All have bail hearings tomorrow before Circuit Judge Joseph E. Cardoza.
The three other suspects are scheduled for arraignment Thursday in Cardoza's court.
Authorities allege the organization exploited Hawai'i's medicinal marijuana laws to sell marijuana for financial gain through Patients Without Time, a Paia-based business which "assisted people in becoming inebriated from marijuana and other by-products of marijuana."
Murphy lists his employment as director of Patients Without Time.