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Multi-agency task force snatches up 62 fugitives

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

LAST UPDATED: 3:08 a.m. HST, Jul 22, 2011

A two-day sweep by the Hawaii Fugitive Task Force made up of federal, state and city law enforcement officers nabbed 62 men and women wanted on felony warrants on Oahu.

The results of the operation, dubbed "Lokahi Sweep," were announced Thursday at a news conference at Police Department headquarters.

The 62 individuals arrested Tuesday and Wednesday were wanted on 123 outstanding warrants exceeding $700,000 in bail, Police Chief Louis Kealoha said. Three of them had no bail and were immediately taken to prison, while two others had high bail, he said.

"As many of you know, a small number of criminals are responsible for a large number of crimes," Kealoha said. "

Maj. Richard Robinson, head of the Criminal Investigations Division, said the task force reviewed 900 warrants from a six-year period and identified "the most viable targets." The task force, which is funded by the Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, targets those wanted on sex, drug and violent crime offenses.

"The large majority of people who were arrested are serious felons with extensive criminal records," Robinson said.

The 900 warrants reviewed are among 2,700 outstanding on Oahu, he said.

This week's effort was the first on Oahu in more than two years.

Similar efforts on Maui in March and Hawaii island in February netted about 70 fugitives each, task force officials said.

"Career criminals are out there with multiple arrests, and we want to reduce these warrants," U.S. Marshal Gervin Miyamoto said.

A command center was set up on the fourth floor of police headquarters where task force leaders coordinated the arrests this week.

U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni said the operation "has made our streets safer for our keiki, kupuna and everyone."

Said state Attorney General David Louie, "You guys who are out there who have warrants — you can run but you cannot hide. We're going to get you."

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