Bail denied for Kauai pot suspect
Two others in the alleged large-scale project are released
A Kauai man was detained without bail, and his son and daughter-in-law were expected to be released pending federal trial on charges that they and two others ran a large-scale marijuana operation on state land at the foot of Mount Waialeale.
Federal prosecutors successfully argued to detain convicted marijuana trafficker Edward Holland without bail because of the danger he poses to the community and the scope and extent of his alleged marijuana cultivation during a period of years.
But prosecutors agreed to the release on bond of Holland's son Ryan Edward Bihm and Melissa Bihm, who is married to Robert Jason Bihm, another Holland son. Robert Bihm will stay in the federal detention center until bed space opens at a halfway home.
A hearing for a fourth man, Mark Steven Darling, will be held next week.
All were arrested Aug. 31 after federal officials seized 5,922 marijuana plants with a street value of $5.9 million.
David Bettencourt, attorney for Edward Holland, said the amount of marijuana attributed to his client is "overstated."
"I'm outraged that they caught a lot of by-catch," he said, referring to marijuana plants that were picked up but did not belong to his clients. "There were other people in those woods."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo had said this week that other individuals are suspected and that the investigation continues in what he described as "the largest outdoor marijuana-growing operation ever prosecuted" in Hawaii.
The five people charged were observed and photographed cultivating the plants in late June and August, officials said.