Tuesday, December 14, 2004

"Was dangerous, spooky. ... Make like I was working. I just took the whole bag, 10 pounds of weed."

Harold Cabbab
According to transcripts of a recorded conversation

Federal ‘ice’ sting
nets HPD officer

A former UH baseball star
allegedly tried to steal crystal meth

A 10-year Honolulu police officer has been charged in a federal complaint with attempting to steal crystal methamphetamine from drug dealers in a sting that netted him instead.


Harold Cabbab: His alleged co-conspirator actually was an informant for U.S. agents

Harold Cabbab Jr. of Ewa Beach -- a former outfielder with the University of Hawaii Rainbows and all-state player at Kamehameha Schools -- made his first appearance in U.S. District Court yesterday.

He is accused of attempting to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine. The offense is punishable by a minimum mandatory prison term of 10 years and a $4 million fine.

Cabbab, a patrolman in the Pearl City district, was arrested Friday, a day after he and an acquaintance allegedly broke into a storage locker at Quik-Stor of Hawaii near the Makiki Post Office, and stole what they believed to be a shipment of 18 to 20 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice." The drugs had been planted there by federal agents.

The two allegedly wore dark, long-sleeved T-shirts with "HPD" on the back when they drove to the storage facility in a rented Trailblazer. The complaint said they used a bolt cutter to break into the storage locker and a truck bin that contained the drugs.

According to the complaint, unsealed yesterday in U.S. District Court, Cabbab, while in uniform, drove to the home of the acquaintance in mid-October in his department-subsidized Dodge Durango to discuss ways to steal drugs from a drug dealer.

Cabbab was not aware his acquaintance was a confidential informant for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the complaint said.

In at least half a dozen tape-recorded conversations between Cabbab and the informant -- from Oct. 13 to Dec. 8 -- the two discussed ways to do the rip-off, according to prosecutors.

Transcripts of the recorded conversations attached to the complaint suggested Cabbab might have been involved in a prior drug rip-off.

When asked by the informant, "What happened on the last one?" Cabbab recounts how he was supposed to grab someone with drugs at a Waikiki hotel, but Cabbab was on the wrong floor and missed him. Cabbab said he ended up having to follow the individual in his car to Hawaii Kai.

"Was dangerous, spooky. ... Make like I was working. I just took the whole bag, 10 pounds of weed," he said, according to the transcript.

According to the transcripts, Cabbab also raises concerns about the possibility that the drug dealers would fight back, because "this thing gotta go perfect or going be hard, brah."

Cabbab noted that they could possibly make $100,000 each from the heist with only the two of them involved. They also discussed selling the ice afterward. In a conversation last Tuesday, according to the transcripts, Cabbab noted that he needed money and that the holidays were the worst time to be broke.

Cabbab has been placed on leave since Friday and is being stripped of his gun and badge, said Michelle Yu, police spokeswoman.

Police Chief Boisse Correa said he is aware of the investigation and that the department is working closely with federal authorities.

Cabbab was a star center-fielder for the Rainbows and played from 1989 to 1992.

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