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Nearly $1M in coke, cash and jewelry seized in Waimea drug bust

A 33-year-old Waimea man facing felony charges in a major drug bust is free on his own recognizance without posting bail.

Hawaii Police Department Assistant Chief Robert Wagner, the department’s Kona operations commander, said Alika Akima, who’s charged with two counts of promotion of a dangerous drug in the first degree — a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment upon conviction — and misdemeanor marijuana possession, was released because of the COVID-19 pandemic after being charged.

“We conferred with prosecutors about this to see what they’re going to do,” Wagner said Friday. “They’re releasing all but the most violent (offenders).”

“This is a different time,” he added.

As of Oct. 19, there were 248 inmates in Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo, 42 above its design capacity of 226 and 22 above its “operational capacity” of 226 — the latter number is the one the state Department of Public Safety uses when calculating a facility’s occupancy rate.

According to DPS calculations, HCCC is the only facility within the state with an inmate head count above operational capacity.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has issued two orders, in April and August, mandating a reduction in the inmate population of the jails and prisons because of the pandemic, and a large COVID cluster was reported in Oahu Community Correctional Center.

Kona Vice and South Kohala Patrol officers executed a search warrant Tuesday at a Kipahele Street home in Waimea, assisted by agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. According to police, that search turned up 7.25 pounds of cocaine, just over a quarter-pound of methamphetamine, and slightly more than a half-ounce of marijuana.

Wagner said the cocaine has a street value of $410,862, and the street value of the methamphetamine is $8,500.

In addition, officers seized for potential forfeiture $353,398 in cash, jewelry Wagner described as “predominately gold chains” valued at $117,000, a .223 caliber semi-automatic rife and three vehicles — a 2008 Toyota pickup truck, a 2008 Toyota sport-utility vehicle and a 2018 Polaris utility vehicle.

According to Hawaii court records, Akima’s prior offenses are all traffic related.

A 34-year-old Waimea woman, identified in a police log as Krystle Bernard, was also arrested, but was released from custody without being charged pending further investigation.

Wagner said Akima is scheduled to appear at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 3 in Kona District Court.

Email John Burnett at
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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