Hawaii’s US attorney lays out plan to stop Oahu’s violent crime wave

Local News

Hawaii’s U.S. attorney says he is deeply disturbed by the recent wave of violent crimes on Oahu, and laid out his plan to help put away those committing these types of crimes.

U.S. Attorney Kenji Price says his priorities are to go after those with long criminal records, have a history of violence, or those working in groups to coordinate criminal activities.

Price says he’s already been coordinating with the FBI, HPD, and the prosecutor’s office to address the problem. He says federal laws can be applied to many of the recent crimes, which would result to harsher sentences when the criminals are prosecuted.

“Violent criminals should know that we’ll use any federal statute available to prosecute you. Whether it’s a federal carjacking statute, robbery statute, unlawful firearms statute, or any other statute for that matter that provides as an avenue for holding you accountable, our goal is to pursue charges that land you in custody,” he said.

Price says the idea is to use all the tools at their disposal. And they would focus their attention on those with many convicted felonies, have a violent past, or work in conspiracy to prey on their victims.

“If you fall into this category, know that you’re the target of our law enforcement community, and in many cases you’ll be accountable for not only your own conduct, but for the reasonably foreseeable conduct of those who are in cahoots with you,” said Price.

He adds that illegal game room activity is tied to violent crimes. Federal agents have been cracking down on these game rooms since earlier this year. And he says they will keep pursuing methods to shut them down.

“My job is to chip away at that problem in any meaningful way that I can and one way of course is to go after the violent crime connected to game rooms. Another way is to go after the violent crime that we’re seeing spread out in different places across the island,” said Price.

It’s not clear how many of the recent violent crimes are tied to illegal game rooms. But Price says he’s looking at all angles of criminal activity to get to the problem.

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