By: L.N. Reklai
February 8, 2018 (Koror, Palau) – Twenty-one people were charged for drug violations in 2017, according to the newly released report from the Narcotics Enforcement Agency (NEA).
A total of sixty-seven (67) undercover operations were conducted in 2017 resulting in 26 active investigations, 21 drug cases forwarded for prosecution and 21 persons charged for drug crime violations according to the report. Eight of the charged individuals have been convicted for violating drug laws while others are still pending.
NEA seized 698.22 grams of methamphetamine or (1.54lbs) with street value of $698,000 to $1 million dollars. Sixty-one methamphetamine drug samples were sent to lab for drug analysis in 2017.
NEA had also seized 251.44 grams of marijuana, two illegal firearms, one vehicle and one vessel including $12,500 dollars as proceeds of crime.
Significant cases in 2017 include conviction of an ex-NEA agent sergeant Kamesak Demek and ex-police lieutenant Clark Willyander on drug related charges. Both ex-law enforcement officers are serving time.
Arnold Buck received 57 years imprisonment sentence for drug trafficking in 2017, the longest prison term ever meted out for drug offenses.
Meanwhile, Larry Imeong Hillbroom is still awaiting trials for multiple drug charges, including ones he allegedly committed while out on bail.
Narcotics Enforcement Agency reported a number of public awareness campaigns conducted in 2017 with schools and communities on drug prevention.
The report placed emphasis on the physical effects of drug and the need for greater prevention at schools and communities. [/restrict]