Ex-realty agent
nabbed in ‘ice’ case

Kumai Realty fired him
after a blaze led to a crystal
meth lab in his home

A former Honolulu real estate agent was arrested yesterday on drug-trafficking charges in connection with a large crystal methamphetamine lab discovered after a fire last week in a Pearl City home, police said.

The suspect had been evading police for several days at a vacant apartment unit in Aiea that was once among his properties for sale.

The man's 69-year-old mother was arrested for hindering her son's arrest. Both were released yesterday afternoon pending an investigation.

The suspect and his mother were real estate agents at Kumai Realty Inc.

Marc Kumai, president and chief executive of the company, said yesterday that the man was fired last Friday because of his alleged connection to the crystal meth lab.

He had worked for the company for about a year. His mother had joined Kumai three months ago as his assistant.

"He was about to have a terrific year in real estate," Kumai said. "This was a surprise to everyone. ... It's just a big shock."

The suspect was arrested yesterday morning at the Pearl Regency in Aiea.

He was found hiding out in a vacant condominium that he had been showing to clients while employed with Kumai, police and the company said.

Kumai said his company did not know the man was evading police at the apartment building.

Last Friday, fire tore through the man's Pearl City home, causing more than $335,000 in damage.

Firefighters said the home, on Hookumu Place, had dozens of cans of chemicals, including acetone, that could be used to concoct crystal meth.

The suspect declined to comment on the case when reached on his cell phone last night, citing instructions from his attorney.

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