State files suit over
alleged drug dens

The attorney general's office has filed two lawsuits to ban people from living in alleged drug houses in Pearl City and Wailuku.

The Drug Nuisance Abatement Unit was granted a 10-day temporary injunction ordering five people to stay away from a house at 1454 Noelani St. in Pearl City. The state is seeking to extend the order indefinitely.

Michael Batungbacal, Richard Batungbacal, Eric Hueu and Linda Lefranc are scheduled to appear before Circuit Judge Bert Ayabe tomorrow at 3 p.m. A fifth person has yet to be served with the complaint and will have 20 days to respond.

Neighbors reported to the Drug Nuisance Abatement hot line that drug dealing occurred at the Noelani Street home.

Deputy Attorney General Mark Miyahira said an unknown amount of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice," was seized by police during a raid at the Pearl City home on May 17, 2003.

Scales with ice residue, drug paraphernalia and small Ziploc bags were also discovered by police, Miyahira said. This is the first nuisance abatement lawsuit involving drug activity in Pearl City.

In Wailuku, three people were ordered to temporarily vacate an alleged drug house at 1918 North St. The state is also seeking to ban them indefinitely from returning to or entering the house.

Dexter Tadao Sato and Andrea Ruiz, who both have prior felony convictions for drug possession, are scheduled to appear before Maui Chief Judge Shackley Raffetto at 11 a.m. Thursday. A third person has yet to be served with the lawsuit and will have 20 days to respond.

Community members reported illegal drug activity at the house for years. Trace amounts of ice, cocaine and marijuana were seized by police on Oct. 16. Drug paraphernalia and a small plastic bag with cocaine residue were also found.

Anyone who suspects illegal drug activity in their neighborhood can call the Drug Nuisance Abatement Unit hot line at 586-1328 on Oahu or 1-800-9NO-METH (966-6384) on the neighbor islands. Reports can also be filed at the unit's Web site at


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