Harbor sweep leads to 5 arrests
State and U.S. agents board vessels looking for illegal activity
State and federal law enforcement officers boarded more than two dozen vessels and arrested five people at Honolulu Harbor early yesterday morning -- in an attempt to target a variety of illegal activities.
"Operation Fleet Sweep" zeroed in on the longline fishing fleet at Piers 16, 17 and 38, "first and foremost" to enforce commercial fishing laws, according to Clifford Inn, spokesman for the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The department led the investigation.
The operation's secondary focus was enforcement of immigration laws, followed by bench warrants and alcohol and drug laws, according to Inn.
Officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, state harbor police and the U.S. Coast Guard also participated in the pre-dawn sweep.
DLNR's conservation police issued 20 warnings for natural-resource violations. Officers arrested five people for outstanding warrants; two were cited for open alcohol containers in a motor vehicle.
Officers also seized crystal methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Inn would not elaborate on any further details of the operation.
Other agencies' officials declined to comment, saying the DLNR served as the lead agency.
On Friday, DLNR's enforcement offices served forfeiture papers on and seized a barge and floating dock in Kaneohe Bay for resources violations. DLNR and police conducted a nine-month investigation and found an illegal commercial fishing operation. Four of the 13 criminal charges that resulted from the investigation were resources violations, including the sale and possession of undersize Samoan crabs. The barge was towed to Heeia-Kea Harbor and demolished Saturday.