HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
KONA JUVENILE AID SECTION
OFFICER PAULA JELSMA
JUNE 3, 2002
Big Island police have turned over a suspect in a domestic abuse case to the custody of federal agents for prosecution for a firearms charge.
On May 26, 2002, police received a report from an adult female that she had been physically abused by her boyfriend, identified as Leo Ventura, 60, at their Pahala residence in Ka’u.
On conducting criminal history checks on Ventura, it was learned that he was a convicted felon and therefore it was illegal for him to be in possession of firearms.
While officers were trying to locate Ventura, they observed Ventura’s truck in Pahala. Checking the truck, officers observed the butt of a rifle in plain view under some personal belongings on the front seat.
Ventura could not be located at the time, and his truck was towed to the Ka’u police station. Officers acting on a search warrant of the truck recovered a loaded Ruger Mini-14 rifle with a 30-round clip.
At 6:30 p.m. on May 29, 2002, police located Ventura and arrested him on one count of abuse of a family or household member, two counts of prohibited ownership of a firearm and one count of illegal place to keep firearms.
In response to the Project Safety Neighborhood Act regarding federal firearms laws, agents from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (AFT) officer were notified. The ATF agents took over the firearms investigations, and Ventura was placed in their custody for federal prosecution.
Results of the case of abuse of a family or household member will be routed to the county prosecutor’s office for local prosecution.
# # #