Honolulu Star-Bulletin Local News
HPD will add forces to
stem airport drugs

The plan comes on the heels of a pair of
cocaine seizures there earlier this month

By Vik Jolly
Star-Bulletin



POLICE plan to beef up their presence at Honolulu Airport following the seizure of 10 pounds of cocaine and two arrests, the second such incident in two weeks.

"I'm looking at more resources for the airport from my division," said Maj. Mike Carvalho, head of the Narcotics/Vice Division.

At least five more officers will assist the roughly 20 police and federal narcotics officials already at the airport as soon as possible, Carvalho said yesterday after a news conference at the Honolulu Police Department, where officials displayed the seized drugs.

Just before midnight Friday, officers arrested Andrea Henderson, 22, of Palo Alto, Calif., at the airport on suspicion of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

Henderson allegedly was carrying a black backpack containing four tightly wrapped brick-sized packages of cocaine, police said. She consented to a search after officers became suspicious and a drug-sniffing dog alerted them, Carvalho said.

The cocaine has a street value of about $600,000.

Investigation led to the arrest Saturday of Wulfredo Espinoza, 28, a Mexican national, at a Punahou Street apartment on a similar charge. Espinoza was on the same flight from San Francisco as Henderson and apparently was not carrying any drugs, officials said.

Police are investigating whether the pair are linked to three men arrested Aug. 9 because of similar silver duct-taped packaging of drugs. The three men are Mexicans.

Police will check to see whether the purity of the cocaine seized Friday matches the 12 pounds seized earlier.

If convicted, Henderson and Espinoza could face a maximum of 10 years in prison.

"This is the second significant seizure in two weeks," said Sidney Hayakawa, assistant special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration here. "Hopefully, this is not a trend."




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