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Two Puna men indicted on drug, firearms charges

A Hilo grand jury on Wednesday returned separate indictments against two Puna men for numerous drug and firearms offenses.

One of the men was granted court-supervised release without bail by a District Court judge because of the COVID-19 outbreak at Hawaii Community Correctional Center.

A 19-count indictment charges 50-year-old Curtis Wahelani Kahikina of Keaau with three counts of first-degree commercial promotion of marijuana, second-degree commercial promotion of marijuana, attempted second-degree commercial promotion of marijuana, attempted first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, attempted first-degree promotion of a harmful drug, second degree promotion of a harmful drug, possession of a ghost gun, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony drug offense, and seven counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition.

A bench warrant sets his bail at $595,000, but Kahikina was released Wednesday from HCCC over the objections of prosecutors on the same day he was indicted.

Court records indicate Kahikina wasn’t transported to a court hearing on Wednesday because of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the jail.

Deputy Prosecutor Sherilyn Tavares requested Kahikina be freed from custody because he’d been incarcerated since his arrest on June 25 and hadn’t been transported to any hearings.

Deputy Prosecutor Roland Talon argued against Kahikina’s release, but Hilo District Judge Kanani Laubach granted the defense motion and freed Kahikina, noting he had been in custody since June 25 and the state hadn’t indicted him.

Laubach set a preliminary hearing for Aug. 18, but the indictment moves Kahikina’s case to Hilo Circuit Court, where he’ll appear after being re-arrested on the bench warrant.

According to court documents filed by police, a search warrant was executed June 25 at Kahikina’s 34th Avenue home in Orchidland Estates.

Documents state officers seized 5.4 pounds of marijuana, 428 marijuana plants, 6.6 grams of methamphetamine, a smoking pipe with methamphetamine residue, a digital scale and other drug paraphernalia.

Also confiscated, according to documents, were firearms including a loaded Walther 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, an AR-15-type rifle with no serial number, a Ruger .22 rifle, a Springfield Armory .30-40 rifle, a Winchester .32 rifle, a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a Sears J.C. Higgins 12-gauge shotgun and various calibers of ammunition.

Documents state Kahikina told officers he grows and sells marijuana and is aware that as a convicted felon, he isn’t legally allowed to possess firearms or ammunition.

According to court records, Kahikina has a prior felony convictions for burglary, promoting a dangerous drug and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The grand jury also on Wednesday returned a 12-count indictment against 34-year-old Jordan Makaala Valente Kaneshiro of Pahoa.

Kaneshiro is charged with first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, three counts of attempted first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, two counts of second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, three counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm with intent to commit a felony drug offense.

According to court documents filed by police, officers on July 31 executed a search warrant on a Kuleana Street home in Ainaloa Estates subdivision.

The search yielded 1.82 ounces of methamphetamine, more than a half-ounce of cocaine, eight grams of heroin and 2.3 grams of fentanyl.

Police also found a Remington 12-gauge shotgun, documents state.

As a convicted felon, Kaneshiro is not legally allowed to possess firearms or ammunition.

Kaneshiro remains in custody at HCCC in lieu of $560,000 bail, which is also the bail amount on the bench warrant for his re-arrest.

The indictment moves Kaneshiro’s case from Hilo District Court to Hilo Circuit Court.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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