Doctor allegedly had
date rape chemicals

By Debra Barayuga

The arrest this week of a Kaiser doctor for importing chemicals that make up the "date rape drug" is the first significant seizure of the drug here, federal prosecutors say.

But it is only the tip of the iceberg, said U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo.

Seizures of the drug, known as gamma hydroxibutyric acid, or GHB, in the United States by U.S. Customs increased to 900 this year from 47 last year, Kubo said.

"It's a growing problem nationwide, and Hawaii is now seeing it and should be equally aware of its potential dangerousness," he said.

GHB is highly addictive and can cause a person to lose consciousness, experience seizures, lapse into coma or even die, Kubo said. The Drug Enforcement Administration has documented 72 deaths so far related to the drug.

Trafficking of the drug is a growing problem across the United States and Canada with 115 individuals arrested so far, he said. Canada appears to be the source of most of the drug, which can be easily ordered over the Internet, he said.

Dr. Edward Fong, an anesthesiologist, was arrested Thursday for importing two chemical solvents that, ingested by themselves or mixed together, can create GHB. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii put Fong on administrative leave and will conduct its own investigation.

Fong had picked up three parcels that contained the solvents from a private mailbox he rented in Kaimuki before driving to work.

He was also charged with being a drug user in possession of firearms after five handguns were found at his home.

Fong admitted to using the drug to help him sleep. He also indicated other drugs seized at his home -- including cocaine, 79 Ecstasy tablets, marijuana and anaerobic steroids -- were for personal use.

Kubo said the quantities of the drugs seized were more consistent with distribution.

Fong is being held until a detention hearing on Tuesday.

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --