MAKAKILO, Hawaii (KHON2) — A drug bust uncovers a suspected meth lab prompting residents to evacuate. A neighbor who was forced to leave his home said the incident lasted for more than 24 hours.
It was a tense scene 24 hours ago as law enforcement descended on a residential neighborhood in Makakilo.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) said they “found chemicals and materials that resembled a methamphetamine production lab” prompting them to close roads and block off the area.
According to the DEA, at least two homes were evacuated and the FBI bomb squad was called in to assist.
The DEA said they were conducting a search warrant involving narcotics when they made the discovery around 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Walter Timmons, who lives next to the home said the incident started earlier that morning.
“This thing was going on all day,” Timmons explained. “I came outside in the morning, and there was an ambulance out there– there was about five policemen outside and their blue and whites.”
Timmons and several other witnesses reported seeing a body being taken out of the home and saw the medical examiners vehicle.
During the Police Commission meeting Wednesday, April 19, Honolulu police Chief Joe Logan confirmed this.
“Last nights incident, HPD was called to an unattended death there was an investigation by federal agencies,” Logan said.
Timmons said he sat and watched what was happing for most of the day.
“I saw two guys on the ground in the driveway; looked like they were handcuffed.”
Then around 8 p.m., he said police told him he had to leave\ but didn’t really explain why.
“They just said, ‘Safety,'” Timmons said.
“They said [it] was only going to be two hours, and the thing stretched all the way to 3 o’clock in the morning. And, then, even when we came back, the guy stopped us and wanted to confirm that we’d gotten the clearance,” Timmons added.
He said it was frustrating ’cause they weren’t given any assistance,
“You’re on your own,” Timmons said matter-of-factly.
In a statement, the DEA Honolulu Assistant Special Agent in Charge Victor Vazquez said:
“Our main concern is the safety of the community surrounding these illegal labs which are often in residential neighborhoods. The products and chemicals in these labs are highly volatile and can explode easily causing potential injuries and fires.”
Timmons said when he woke up Wednesday morning, he and his son were told they had to leave again. They were allowed back into their home around 1:30 p.m.
According to the DEA, they are working closely with HPD, the FBI, ATF, Hawaii Narcotics Enforcement Department and the Public Safety Department’s Sheriff’s Division. Once the investigation is concluded, they plan to bring in the Environmental Protection Agency to assist with any potential environmental impacts.
It was reported that multiple agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency, continue to be on the scene at a home in the Makakilo area.
Officials have said that they are in the process of conducting a narcotics investigation.
The Drug Enforcement Agency said their agents were conducting a search warrant on Tuesday afternoon, April 18 when they discovered an operation.
The DEA said this is when they found chemicals and materials that resembled a methamphetamine production lab.
The DEA indicated that two homes in the area have been evacuated out of an abundance of caution for the potential consequences associated with the chemicals that were found in the home.
The DEA released a statement on their investigation.
“On Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at approximately 2:00 p.m. DEA Honolulu Office agents were conducting a search warrant at … Awāwa Street, Kapolei involving a narcotics investigation. During the search warrant agents found chemicals and materials that resembled a methamphetamine production lab and decided to exit the residence and call the Honolulu Police Department Clan Lab Team to assist. At approximately 7:30 p.m. the FBI bomb squad responded to the location to further assist.”The Drug Enforcement Agency
According to Officials, the DEA Honolulu is closely working with the Honolulu Police Department, Hawaii Narcotics Enforcement Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation-Honolulu and the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Public Safety — Sheriff Division.
Get news on the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8
DEA officials said that they “appreciate the assistance from our local, state and federal partners,” said DEA Officials.