12/10/2007

International drug gangs target Hawaii

The Associated Press

HONOLULU More than 100 mainland and international drug rings are operating in Hawaii, lured by the prospect of fat profits.

Between 2004 and 2006, law enforcement officials identified 172 multistate and international drug operations that were actively shipping large amounts of product into the state.

Law enforcement agencies say 31 of those groups were broken up. The other 141 were disrupted but are still considered viable.

Mainland drug rings are attracted to Hawaii for the premium they can charge for crystal methamphetamine, or "ice," sold here.

The Drug Enforcement Agency says a pound of crystal meth sells in the western United States for $7,000 to $10,000.

The same pound could fetch as much as $15,000 to $22,000 in Hawaii.

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