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Jail guard faces felony drug offense

A 58-year-old state corrections officer is facing a felony drug charge after an early Thursday morning traffic stop.

Police say Ricky Espejo of Ka‘u was pulled over at about midnight after a Hilo patrol officer noticed a defective brake light on Espejo’s truck and discovered the weight tax and safety check stickers were expired.

According to police, the officer saw drug paraphernalia in plain view, arrested Espejo and a 29-year-old woman passenger and impounded the truck as evidence.

A search warrant found paraphernalia items with methamphetamine residue, police said.

Espejo, who is assigned to Hale Nani Correctional Center in Hilo, was charged with third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, a Class C felony that carries a potential five-year prison term upon conviction.

He was released on $2,000 bail and has a June court date.

The woman was released without being charged pending further investigation.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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