Drug Intelligence Center
Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis
Strategic Drug Threat Developments
The Hawaii HIDTA was established in 1999 to address the threat posed by illicit drugs in the entire state of Hawaii. The state comprises eight main islands and a 1,500-mile chain of islets that spans over 6,400 square miles in the north central Pacific Ocean approximately 2,500 miles from the mainland United States. The islands have a combined population of approximately 1.2 million people; most (approximately 70 percent) reside in the city of Honolulu on the island of O'ahu.
Hawaii's geography, diverse demographics, isolated location, reliance on importation, and high volume of tourist and commercial traffic pose significant challenges to law enforcement. International maritime ports and airports in the state and a developed transportation infrastructure provide for the smooth flow of legitimate commerce and also facilitate transshipment and distribution of illicit drugs and drug proceeds to and through Hawaii. Additionally, the diverse, largely transient (tourist) population in the HIDTA region provides a large customer base and a heightened degree of anonymity for the various drug distributors and criminal groups operating in the state.
The city of Honolulu is Hawaii's primary drug market area; the majority of the state's population is concentrated in the city, and further, it is the HIDTA region's principal port of entry (POE) for travelers, mail, and cargo. Consequently, Honolulu is the primary transshipment point for drugs and drug proceeds to, through, and from the state. Hawaii's international airport, international postal facility, and two busiest commercial harbors are also located in Honolulu. Much of what transpires in terms of drug trafficking and abuse in Honolulu drives the drug situation on each of the other populated islands of the state.