The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized officer Kalae Lee as “Officer of the Month” for December during a luncheon ceremony Dec. 4 at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.
Lee was honored for his successful investigation of a methamphetamine dealer.
In July 2013, Lee received valuable intelligence a man was distributing large quantities of ice in North Kohala. He conducted a monthlong investigation with assistance from North Kohala Community Policing officers.
The investigation led to the identity of a suspect and confirmed the reports of meth distribution.
Lee drafted and obtained search warrants for a Kapaau home, where police recovered 4 1/2 ounces of crystal meth hours before it was to be distributed into the small community of North Kohala. The drugs had an estimated street value of $14,750.
At the scene, police arrested two people. A 46-year-old man was arrested and later charged with first-degree meth trafficking and drug paraphernalia. A 28-year-old woman was arrested and later charged with promoting a dangerous drug and drug paraphernalia.
Det. Edwin A. Buyten from the Ice Task Force recommended Lee for the award and commended him for his investigative skills.
“Officers later learned the community was extremely pleased with the Hawaii Police Department’s effort to disrupt the flow of narcotics within their community and protect their children from dangerous and harmful drugs,” Buyten wrote in nomination papers.
As “Officer of the Month,” Lee is eligible to become “Officer of the Year.”
The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is an organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaii.