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6-03-24 Police arrest and charge Kea’au man with drug offenses

Hawaii Police Department
Zone I Criminal Investigation Department
Lieutenant Zachary Fernando
Phone: (808) 961-2252
Report No.: 24-050314

Media release

Hawai’i Island police have arrested and charged a 40-year-old Kea’au man with two drug-related offenses after responding to a report of a group of men brandishing a machine gun at Leleiwi Beach Park from Hilo.

On Saturday morning, June 1, 2024, at approximately 10:36 a.m., South Hilo patrol officers responded to an anonymous report of a man holding what was described as a “machine gun” out the window of a black Jeep Liberty that it was him observed operation. The reporting party then stated that the vehicle parked near Leleiwi Beach Park.

Responding officers located the parked Jeep and contacted its sole occupant seated in the driver’s seat. Officers then observed a black shotgun on the dashboard of the vehicle and also observed what appeared to be the bed of a second shotgun resting against the center console on the front passenger floor.

The male suspect was ordered out of the vehicle and was taken into custody without incident for two firearms offenses. He was later identified as 40-year-old Dustin David Edward Rieta, of Kea’au. Rieta was transported to the East Hawai’i Detention Center for booking, processing and continued investigation by detectives. The vehicle was recovered and towed to the Hawai’i Police Department secure lockup pending the execution of a search warrant.

Later that afternoon, detectives from the First Area Criminal Investigation Section executed a search warrant on the vehicle resulting in the recovery of the two rifles, which upon closer examination were determined to be “Airsoft” type weapons. Also recovered during the search was over 0.7 grams of methamphetamine, over 44 grams of marijuana, a methamphetamine smoking pipe, a digital scale and over $17,000.00 in US currency, which was seized for confiscation.

After consulting with the County Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday, June 2, 2024, detectives from the District I Criminal Investigation Department charged Rieta with the following crimes:

  • Third degree promotion of a dangerous drug
  • Third degree promotion of a harmful drug

Rieta’s bail was set at $5,100.00

Unable to post bail, Rieta made her initial court appearance on Monday, June 3, 2024, in South Hilo District Court.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Detective David Po’ohina at (808) 961-2385 or by email at [email protected] or the department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.

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