East Hawaii News

Two Arrested in Raid on Underground Pot-Growing Operation

March 4, 2013, 12:03 PM HST
* Updated March 16, 7:04 PM
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Police vice officers have dismantled what is being described as a sophisticated underground marijuana growing operation in a Puna subdivision.

Police on Thursday served a search warrant on a home on Kokohahi Road in the Fern Forest subdivision in Glenwood.

Younger marijuana plants found in the bunker. HPD photo.

Younger marijuana plants found in the bunker. HPD photo.

Police said the property contained an underground bunker measuring 40 feet by 80 feet. It contained more than 500 marijuana plants up to four feet in height, they said.

Police also seized approximately 10 pounds of dried marijuana and a small amount of hashish from the bunker and surrounding property.

The operation was powered by two large diesel generators that powered the bunker’s growing lights and fans. The setup presented a significant risk of fire or explosion, police said.

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Police also seized $4,000 in cash, two vehicles, a backhoe, trailer, three diesel generators and other tools for forfeiture proceedings.

Charles Lanham III, left, and Linda Stallings. HPD photos.

Charles Lanham III, left, and Linda Stallings. HPD photos.

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Two people at the scene, Charles Howard Lanham III, 60, and Linda L. Stallings, 67, were arrested.

Each was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree commercial promotion of a detrimental drug, a count of second-degree commercial promotion of a detrimental drug and five counts of possessing drug paraphernalia.

First-degree promotion of a detrimental drug is a Class A felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

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Both were released from police custody on Saturday after posting bail in the amount of $42,000 for Lanham and $35,000 for Stalling.

The raid and arrests were the result of a two-year investigation that began in Kona, police said.

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