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HPD officer charged with growing marijuana

A Honolulu police officer is in federal custody for his alleged role in two indoor marijuana growing operations — one in a Kapiolani Boulevard apartment and the other in a home in Mililani Mauka.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested Michael Steven Chu Monday and charged him with conspiring to possess and distribute 48 marijuana plants and one pound of processed marijuana. They also arrested and charged Athena Sui Lee.

Chu and Lee appeared in U.S. District Court Monday afternoon and will return to court Wednesday for their bail hearings.

Chu is a 13-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department and is assigned to the Wahiawa/North Shore patrol district.

Police Chief Louis Kealoha said the charge against Chu is a very serious allegation and that the department is cooperating with the DEA in its investigation. He said HPD has initiated its own internal administrative investigation. In the meantime, HPD has removed Chu’s police powers and will place him on leave without pay.

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