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Massive Marijuana Cultivation Found In Ho`olehua

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Police confiscated almost 500 marijuana plants last week that were being cultivated in a private property in Ho`olehua. U`i Cabanting called the police after her husband discovered the plants in their 40-acre property.

On Tuesday morning, August 7 Keawe and Max began barking oddly. “There’s a different bark when there’s something they know it doesn’t belong in the yard,” Roland Cabanting said. Bob, the billy-goat, stood the all hair on his back. Something was definitely wrong. Trying to figure out what, Cabanting took Max for a walk in his property.

To the dismay of the retired U.S. marine, they stumbled across several hundred marijuana plants spread in three locations. Mulberry trees provided cover for the plants. Sticks made out of tree branches propped up parts of the trees, making a dome-like structure.

In one area there were about 400 plants placed in black plastic bags, each containing 5-6 young plants. Another spot had only a few plants, ready to harvest. In a third spot, Cabanting found about 60 plants placed in individual plastic bags. “It was what they called ratoon crops,” Cabanting said. Those plants had already been harvested once, he said.

Ratoon crops are harvested the first time by breaking the main stem. Two stems grow on the sides of the broken stem, yielding twice the amount of pot in the next harvest. These plants were ready for a second reap. “There was nothing but buds,” Cabanting said.

Cabanting’s wife, U`i, immediately called the police. Four hours later the police showed up. The police drove their SUV to the grow area and confiscated all the plants found.

U`i showed some fresh horse prints on the trails leading to where pot plants were found. “We don’t have a horse,” she said. Marijuana plants need water, and there are no available water sources in the property. Horses would be an ideal animal to help carry large water containers, according to U`i.

The following day, still livid about someone planting illegal crops on her land, U`i borrowed a horse and set out to explore the rest of her property. Under a mulberry tree, she found 16 more pot plants in individual plastic bags. Two large water containers rested alongside the plants.

The perpetrators left behind several tools, including pickets, shovels and hand saws. Some of the shovels were stolen from Cabanting.

Underneath a mulberry tree, a water-hose came from underground, and was wrapped around the tree trunk. There were no marijuana plants under that tree. The buried end of the hose pointed to an adjacent property.

Cabanting was perplexed with the cleverness of the perpetrators who were operating right under his nose.

Cabanting said there were trails leading to adjacent properties, west and east of his land. “This is not deer trail now,” he said, pointing to unusually wide trails through the grass. “When it’s this wide, it is human trail.”

“Nobody has ever done this to us,” Cabanting said. He was concerned about his property. “We can lose this,” he said. “We can lose the whole 40 acres.”

“My wife and I don’t do drugs,” Cabanting said. He and his wife were outraged someone chose his property to plant marijuana. The Cabantings have two young children living with them.

Federal conviction for trafficking 100 or more marijuana plants is punishable with 5-40 years in prison, plus up to $2 million in fines, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Under Hawaii State law, cultivation of 25 plants is a felony, and cultivation of 100 or more plants is punishable with 20 years in jail plus a $50,0000 fine. All those charges are for first offense, and could double with a second offense.

Meanwhile, police said there were not enough leads to pursue an investigation.


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Author: Léo Azambuja
Contact: The Molokai Dispatch
Website: Massive Marijuana Cultivation Found in Ho`olehua | The Molokai Dispatch
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