Big Island Police Arrest Three with Drug Offenses Following Traffic Stop in North Kohala

Two men and a woman have been charged with drug offenses following a traffic stop in North Kohala.

Patrol officers stopped the car in Kapaʻau on Thursday because of a seat belt violation. During the stop, it was determined that the vehicle had been reported stolen. Police also determined that the driver and one of his two passengers were wanted on bench warrants.

All three occupants were arrested and taken to the Kona police cellblock for further investigation. During the course of the investigation, police located 6.4 grams of a crystalline substance and paraphernalia associated with methamphetamine use in the car.

Nakalohe Gersaba

Nakalohe Gersaba

Rico Echiverri

Rico Echiverri

Friday afternoon, Vice Section detectives charged the driver, 22-year-old Nakalohe Gersaba, who has no permanent address, his male passenger, 36-year-old Rico Echiverri, who also has no permanent address, and his female passenger, 24-year-old Zerica Bell-Ching of Kapaʻau, with promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Zerica Bell-Ching

Zerica Bell-Ching

Gersaba was also charged with driving without a license, driving without insurance and failure to appear. His bail was set at $37,300. Police continue to investigate a possible charge against him for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

Echiverri was additionally charged with contempt of court and violating probation. His bail was set at $135,000.

Bell-Ching’s bail was set at $7,000.

All three were held at the cellblock over the weekend pending their initial court appearance on Monday (August 26).

Waikoloa Drug Bust

Three people were arrested Friday (February 22) when vice officers served a search warrant on a home in Waikoloa.

During the search at the house on the 68-1600 block of Alana Street, police recovered 13.5 grams of methamphetamine, 0.5 grams of marijuana, two handguns and various items of drug-related paraphernalia. They also recovered $8,852 in cash and two flat screen televisions for forfeiture.

Paul Solis Sr.

Paul Solis Sr.

At the scene, police arrested the resident, 46-year-old Paul Solis Sr., and two women, 24-year-old Zerica Bell-Ching of Hawi, and 20-year-old Ainjel Mullaley of Waikoloa. All three were taken to the Kona police cellblock while Area II Vice Section detectives continued the investigation.

Zerica Bell-Ching

Zerica Bell-Ching

On Saturday afternoon, the two women were released pending further investigation. Solis was charged with meth trafficking, promoting a detrimental drug, two counts of promoting a dangerous drug, two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia and four firearms offenses. His bail was set at $36,750. He was released from police custody Saturday evening after posting bail.

Big Island Police Searching for Four with Outstanding Warrants

Big Island police are asking the public’s help in locating four individuals with outstanding warrants.

Curtis Hokulani Kekahuna Jr.

Curtis Hokulani Kekahuna Jr., 35, who has no permanent address, is wanted on a $500 warrant for contempt of court and a $300 warrant for failure to appear in court. He is described as 5-foot-9, about 300 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. He has a scar that runs across his left eye.

Trent Lippertz

Trent Lippertz, 23, who has no permanent address, is wanted on a $2,000 warrant for contempt of court. He is also wanted for trespassing, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and burglary. He is described as 5-foot-11, 140 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. He has several tattoos, including the name “REGO” running vertically down the back of his right arm.

Zerica Bell-Ching

Zerica Bell-Ching, 23, who has no permanent address, is wanted on a $500 warrant for contempt of court. She is described as 5-foot-5, 127 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. She has a small black mole between her eyebrows and a tattoo of the name “Kaipo” on her right foot.

Sriyani Anang

Sriyani Anang, 40, who has no permanent address, is wanted on a $300 warrant for failure to appear in court as well as failure to return a rental vehicle. She is described as 5-foot-1, 115 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She has a small black mole on the bridge of her nose.

Police ask that anyone with information on the whereabouts of any of these individuals call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Warrants for Traffic Stops Lead to Five People Getting Arrested for Narcotics Offenses

Three men and two women were arrested for narcotics offenses Friday(January 6) after a coordinated effort between the Area II Ice Task Force and North Kohala Community Policing and Patrol Officers led to execution of two unrelated search warrants, each stemming from traffic stops.

Kaipo Botelho-Matthey

Police stopped a pickup truck driven by 26-year-old Kaipo Botelho-Matthey of Hawi on Union Mill Road in Kapaʻau because of a defective tail light. Further investigation led to the arrest of Botelho-Matthey and his passenger, 26-year-old Trent Fujii of Hawi, on suspicion of drug charges. In a search warrant on the truck the following day, police recovered resealable plastic packets containing crystalline substance, a glass smoking pipe with crystalline residue, an unregistered .22 caliber firearm, ammunition,and $852 in cash.

Evelyn Lopez

A second traffic stop on a sedan driven by 24-year-old Evelyn Lopez of Hilo led to the arrest of Lopez and her two passengers, 43-year-old Michael Torres of Kapaʻau and 23-year-old Zerica Bell-Ching of Hawi. Upon execution of a search warrant on Saturday, officers recovered a container that contained a crystalline residue, a glass smoking pipe with crystalline residue, .22 caliber ammunition, and $116 in cash.

Michael Torres

The five suspects were held at the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Vice Section continued the investigation.

At 3:40 p.m. Sunday, detectives charged Botelho-Matthey with second-degree promoting dangerous drugs, third-degree promoting dangerous drugs, three firearms offenses, driving with a defective tail light and two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $14,000.

Fujii was released pending further investigation.

Zerica Bell-Ching

At 3:45 p.m. Sunday, Lopez and Bell-Ching were charged with one count each of third-degree promoting dangerous drugs and possessing drug paraphernalia. Lopez was also charged with a no-fault insurance offense. Her bail was set at $4,025 and Bell-Ching’s bail was set at $4,000.

Torres was charged with two counts each of third-degree promoting dangerous drugs and possessing drug paraphernalia, and three firearms offenses. His bail was set at $51,000.

The recovered cash from both vehicles was seized for forfeiture.

All five individuals were held at the Kona Police station pending their initial court appearances on Monday morning at Kona District Court.

These arrests are part of the Police Department’s ongoing effort to curtail illegal drug distribution in our community. Concerned citizens are encouraged to continue to provide tips to the Vice Sections at 934-8423 in Hilo and 329-0423 in Kona.