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


  • Marijuana is shown growing in an underground bunker in Puna on Hawaii island. Hawaii County police recovered more than 500 marijuana plants and have charged two people in the case. (Courtesy Hawaii Police Department)

  • Marijuana is shown growing in an underground bunker in Puna on Hawaii island. Hawaii County police recovered more than 500 marijuana plants and have charged two people in the case. (Courtesy Hawaii Police Department)

  • Linda Stallings, 67, was charged with multiple drug counts by Hawaii County police after authorities raided an underground bunker in Puna and recovered more than 500 marijuana plants. (Courtesy Hawaii Police Department)

  • Charles Howard Lanham III, 60, was charged with multiple drug counts by Hawaii County police after authorities raided an underground bunker in Puna and recovered more than 500 marijuana plants. (Courtesy Hawaii Police Department)
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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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