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Hawaii island drug raid nets 9 arrests, 871 marijuana plants

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:35 p.m. HST, Oct 22, 2012

Hawaii County police arrested nine people and seized 871 marijuana plants and 106 pounds of dried marijuana in raids on six homes in Puna last week.

Gilbert Espiritu, 53, and Phyllis Morby, 56, were each charged with multiple counts of promotion of marijuana and other offenses. Police released the other seven suspects without charges, pending further investigation.

Police arrested the nine on Thursday in searches of three adjancent properties on Tiki Lane in the Ainaloa subdivision. Officers recovered 321 marijuana plants, 98.8 pounds of dried marijuana, 2.5 grams of heroin, 125 grams of hashish and 232 hydrocodone pills in indoor-growing operations at two of the properties.

Police searched three other properties Friday and Saturday in Hawaiian Acres and Hawaiian Paradise Park, recovering 550 marijuana plants and 7.9 pounds of dried marijuana.

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