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Mexican traffickers dominate wholesale drug distribution in the Hawaii HIDTA region, primarily supplying other Mexican, Pacific Islander, and local criminal groups. These groups in turn supply midlevel quantities to retail distributors, primarily street gangs and independent dealers. Retail drug sales in metropolitan areas take place in open-air markets (located on streets and in parking lots) and in clubs and bars, particularly in the Chinatown area of Oahu. Retail drug sales in rural areas usually take place at prearranged locations and typically are between dealers and known or referred customers.

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Drug-Related Crime

Law enforcement reporting indicates that ice methamphetamine is the drug that most contributes to violent and property crime in the Hawaii HIDTA region. According to the Western States Information Network (WSIN), there were 2,730 drug-related critical eventsh in 2009, 42 percent (1,148) of which were methamphetamine-related. Each of the five Hawaii state and local law enforcement agencies responding to the NDTS 2009 indicate that methamphetamine is the drug that most contributes to violent and property crime in their jurisdictions. Additionally, data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives show that 21 of the 44 cases investigated in Hawaii in 2008 were drug-related; of those, 15 were methamphetamine-related.

Home invasion robberies of illegal indoor cannabis grow sites are another concern for law enforcement agencies in the HIDTA region. HIDTA officials report that many of these robberies are repeat burglaries and rip-offs by rival traffickers that often go unreported because the victims do not want to alert law enforcement to their own illicit activities. Additionally, most illicit growers use rental properties for their cultivation operations. Once a property is vacated by the growers, the new tenants are still at risk of home invasion robberies because the property has been a known grow site.

Although not common, acts of violence between rival street-level drug gangs do occur. For example, in April 2009, two individuals affiliated with a gang from San Francisco, California, shot and killed a local rival gang member in the Chinatown area of Oahu. Both gangs were involved in crack cocaine distribution in addition to other criminal activities, including murder, kidnapping, prostitution, robbery, and gambling.


h. WSIN defines a critical event as a law enforcement activity that requires law enforcement agents or officers to respond to a predetermined location to conduct a proactive investigation.

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