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Cannabis Sampler

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 3,870
Loc: Hindu Kush Mountains
[HI] Honolulu police officer in custody on charges involving indoor marijuana grow operation
    #617785 - 04/12/12 08:46 AM (4 years, 6 months ago)


HONOLULU — A police officer charged in an alleged indoor marijuana-growing operation showed up carrying growing supplies as federal agents were searching an apartment where plants and large amounts of cash were found, authorities said.

Officer Michael Steven Chu, a 13-year veteran of Honolulu police, is accused of growing marijuana at two Oahu residences where agents found dozens of plants. He was arrested Monday.

The operation was uncovered last week when a FedEx security manager intercepted a suspicious package sent from San Leandro, Calif., to a unit at the Moana Pacific apartments in Honolulu, according to the complaint. The box contained eight juvenile marijuana plants.

While agents were executing a search warrant at the apartment where more than 20 plants in various stages of growth and large amounts of cash were found, Chu and a woman named Athena Sui Lee arrived. Chu has holding a plastic bag containing nutrients and materials used for growing, while Lee had a bag with about $12,000 cash in $2,000 bundles, the complaint said.

DEA agents found Chu's police-subsidized sport utility vehicle in the parking stall assigned to the apartment, where another pound of marijuana was found, along with his loaded department-issued gun and a loaded supplemental weapon.

According to the complaint, Chu waived his constitutional rights and told agents he works for Lee and helps her carry things for the marijuana-growing operation. He gave agents a Young Street address where federal agents in July seized 14 pounds of marijuana in a parcel that was shipped to the address.

Chu told agents he has a medical marijuana card issued by his doctor. The card's information led agents to the Mililani address he listed on the marijuana permit.

Another 10 to 20 plants about 3 to 4 feet tall were found in a bedroom of the Mililani home, the complaint said. Neighbor and retired police officer, Wayne Autele, said he had no idea that marijuana was being grown next door.

There were no odors coming from the house, he said.

Chu and Lee were expected to appear in court Wednesday for detention hearings. Their lawyers did not immediately return calls for comment. Chu and Lee could not be reached at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu where they were being held.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha called the allegations "serious." Chu has been placed on unpaid leave.

A medical marijuana card doesn't exempt employees from drug testing and it's a violation for police to use marijuana, Kealoha said.

Edited by Shr0000ooooms (04/12/12 08:56 AM)

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