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Police seize marijuana plants, charge 2 in raid on Puna bunker

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:09 p.m. HST, Mar 04, 2013

A two-year investigation has ended with the dismantling of an elaborate underground bunker housing a marijuana-growing operation in Puna and the arrest of two people.

Hawaii County police arrested Charles Howard Lanham III, 60; and Linda L. Stallings, 67, at a home on Kokokahi Road in Glenwood Thursday.

On Friday, detectives charged each of them with two counts of first-degree commercial promotion of a detrimental drug, one count of second-degree commercial promotion of a detrimental drug, and five counts of possessing drug paraphernalia. Bail was set $42,000 for Lanham and $35,000 for Stallings. Both were released from police custody Saturday after posting bail. 

The marijuana growers used two large diesel generators to power the bunker’s fans and lights, which posed a significant risk of fire and potentially a large explosion. The State Narcotics Enforcement Division and the Hawaii Fire Department’s Hazmat Team dismantled the large growing operation. On the property was an underground bunker approximately 40 feet by 80 feet. 

Police recovered more than 500 marijuana plants (3-4 feet tall), approximately 10 pounds of dried marijuana and a small amount of hashish from the bunker and surrounding property. 

Officers also seized and set for forfeiture $4,000 in cash, two vehicles, a backhoe, a trailer, three diesel generators and other tools. Total items for forfeiture totaled more than $100,000. 

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iwanaknow wrote:
Leftovers from the Hippy Generation? Howard's 74 year old mom said "My boy is a good boy, he neva hurt nobody". So this Puna Gold is just the tip of the iceberg?
on March 4,2013 | 11:13AM
allie wrote:
true..Puna is loaded with drugs and everyone knows who produces and sells and where. No secrets at all.
on March 4,2013 | 12:06PM
sanoname wrote:
Wish peope can turn more people in costing Hawaii over 1 billion dollar fed another billion some many people getting hurt because of drugs so much family problem close down drug dealers
on March 4,2013 | 01:12PM
kainalu wrote:
on March 4,2013 | 11:36AM
TMJ wrote:
$42,000 bail for marijuana wholesalers? That's laughable.
on March 4,2013 | 11:55AM
allie wrote:
they should go after da meth
on March 4,2013 | 12:06PM
kennysmith wrote:
TAKE THE LOT OF SEED AND PUT IT ALL OUT IN THE GROUND SEED, let see how they can deal with them then.
on March 4,2013 | 12:13PM
rayhawaii wrote:
The state should sell it as medical mj and that could help pay for their time in prison at about $60,000.00 a year each of tax payers money.
on March 4,2013 | 12:30PM
cojef wrote:
Never thought that, but if you are legalizing, why not? Them the State came claim that they are largest pot dealer in the state. Helps pay for the expenses in prosecuting the rats.
on March 4,2013 | 01:51PM
allie wrote:
legalize and tax it
on March 4,2013 | 01:55PM
aomohoa wrote:
I've been saying that for years:)
on March 4,2013 | 02:41PM
lowtone123 wrote:
on March 4,2013 | 01:13PM
sanoname wrote:
Wish people turn in all the drug dealers . the police did a good job . few more bust will be cool how many ton of drug do Hawaii crime family or mafia or what ever name they go by ship out is it into 100's of ton or 1000's of tons with so many tons some one is covering up expose more please help our Hawaii & country why dirty up other state & other people country why do Hawaii drug dealers need money & power close them down
on March 4,2013 | 01:23PM
allie wrote:
true..on an Island we all know who and where they are
on March 4,2013 | 01:55PM
kennysmith wrote:
you should turn in the va.gov then. there are the bigs issue then to.
on March 4,2013 | 03:14PM
pj737 wrote:
on March 4,2013 | 04:28PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Hawaii can make like Colorado and legalize marijuana and then create a 15 percent marijuana sales tax. Of course then legal marijuana will cost more than illegal stuff so the legal stuff will sit on shelves while everyone buys the illegal stuff and the Colorado gets no tax revenue....makes sense huh?
on March 4,2013 | 01:54PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Your logic fails. If marijuana were to be legalized, the plant would be grown commercially en masse which would result in lower prices. Even with a tax added to it it would most likely cost far less than the ones grown and sold by the criminals. It is the dealers, the criminals, that would want to keep the plant illegal as they would be put them out of business. Further, by legalizing marijuana, we will save billions of dollars from not having to house those convicted of using marijuana. The cost to enforce the laws regarding marijuana, the judicial costs, and the cost to society in terms of the convicted becoming a non-tax paying and contribuiting member of society and the exposure of the convicted to real criminals who may influence him in the wrong direction is great.
on March 4,2013 | 09:23PM
SteveToo wrote:
Come on people, make it legal and tax it. Just like Prohibition this just helps organized crime succeed.
on March 4,2013 | 02:23PM
HD36 wrote:
Looks like right out of a High Times magazine. It looks like he changed the high pressure sodium bulbs to a 12hr on cycle and increased the phosporous through what looks like a sophisticated hydroponic system about 4 months ago. These babies were right about to hit the market. Very sophisticated in that he used an underground bunker to avoid infrared detection. He used diesel generators so his electricity bill wouldn't stand out from his neighbors. These two were good. Real pro's. Deisel generators are alot more quiet than gasoline. With that many lights, at 1000 watts per bulb, these two must have been hauling alot of deisel to the grow operation.
on March 4,2013 | 02:51PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Not to mention that buying $100k worth of generators and vehicles and parts was a wonderful stimulus to the economy. Think about the multiplier effect. These are truly job creators.
on March 4,2013 | 04:35PM
HD36 wrote:
True and I'm sure these two couldn't have set up this whole operation by themselve's. The government will use their forfeiture laws to remind us all why they want marijuana illegal.
on March 4,2013 | 07:18PM
niimi wrote:
No one notice them digging that big hole in the ground? I'll bet the neighbors thought that was a big swimming pool being dug. 40 x 80 feet? That's huge.
on March 4,2013 | 04:27PM
WKAMA wrote:
I was born in Puna and raised in Hilo back in the 50's. Then Puna was a nice quiet place. I still have relatives there but now all I read in the papers are the drug traffic and killings going on there. Probably not save to walk around at nights. Very sad.
on March 4,2013 | 06:39PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
As if we didn't already have enough people in prison for victimless crimes, what a Waste of taxpayer resources to jail people for weed.
on March 4,2013 | 08:25PM
Anonymous wrote:
One day there was a last 'witch trial' and the terrible horror of centuries ended forever. It's our prayer, intention and goal that there will also be a 'last marijuana trial' - and that this will be it. Every seed-bearing plant… THEN GOD SAID, I GIVE YOU EVERY SEED-BEARING PLANT ON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH, AND EVERY TREE THAT HAS FRUIT IN IT." GENESIS 1:29-30
on March 5,2013 | 01:49AM
Upperkula wrote:
They thought they were growing cabage.
on March 5,2013 | 06:33AM
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