July 1, 2010 – Kapoho, Hawaii
Video by David Corrigan
Deep in the remote ag lands on Alohalani street in Kapoho – a road that goes unmentioned on most maps and is marked with a hand painted sign along Highway 132 – the evidence of a massive act of ag vandalism lies rotting in the hot Hawaiian sun.
Over 8,500 papaya trees, the choice crop in this region of Puna, were discovered cut down on Wednesday. Police valued the lost harvest at $100,000.
The remote farm belongs to Laureto Julian and his family, who have grown papaya in the Puna area for decades. Julian told KHON2 News that he is devastated by the destruction, and hopes whoever is responsible will be put “behind bars”.
In another news report, Julian said the crops were “Rainbow” and “SunUp” papaya, which are genetically-engineered varieties.
Police are asking for the public’s help in providing leads to identify possible suspects for this crime. Persons with information are encouraged to call Officer Marcos Santos at the Kea’au police station at 966-5835.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All calls to Crime Stoppers are kept confidential.