Adult Store Owner’s Assets to Be Seized

Rhett Pardon
HONOLULU — An adult video store owner has been ordered by a federal judge to forfeit more than $1 million in assets — including the store’s huge adult video inventory — after she was found guilty of running an illegal drug emporium inside the store.

The owner, Betty Yi Hernandez, 63, was arrested after a federal and county investigation detailed how money flowed to Hernandez and her family.

Authorities said that Swing Video in the Keeaumoku area was renovated to provide space for drug pushers at the door and private rooms for methamphetamine and crack users.

Keeaumoku is adjacent to the state’s largest shopping mall, Ala Moana Center, and the nearby area contains the largest number of adult entertainment shops and clubs.

U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor also sentenced Hernandez to three years and four months in federal prison for money laundering and allowing her business to be used for the buying and selling of drugs.

The indictment alleged Hernandez, beginning in 1999, charged drug dealers $20 to sell drugs at her store and $2 for users to enter — using her business as a private front for drug dealers.

The video store, formerly at another location, also was the focus of a drug investigation in the late 1990s. Hernandez relocated to the Keeaumoku area after her downtown building was seized.

The investigation involved the Honolulu Police Department, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration.