Puna suspect arrested after illegal drugs found in car 05-23-02

PHONE: 961-2253
MAY 23, 2002


Big Island police have arrested a 62-year-old Puna man for a variety of drug and other offenses after finding 12.6 ounces of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” and more than $26,000 in cash in his car.

The suspect, identified as Harold Alonzo, of a Kurtistown address, had been stopped at 1:25 a.m. Wednesday (May 22, 2002) for traffic violations.

Puna Patrol Officer John Weber stopped Alonzo’s vehicle for a traffic violation at the intersection of 29th and Paradise Drive in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision.

After pulling Alonzo over, Officer Weber noticed drug paraphernalia in the suspect’s vehicle and placed him under arrest. During the arrest, the suspect allegedly threatened the officer.

The investigation was referred to the Hilo Vice Section, and a search warrant was obtained after a narcotics dog alerted Vice Section officers to illegal drugs in the car.

Alonzo was subsequently arrested for two counts of promoting a dangerous drug, promoting a harmful drug, terroristic threatening, illegal possession of drug paraphernalia and various traffic offenses.

He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock until he can be turned over to federal authorities for prosecution.

Lieutenant Henry J. Tavares, head of the Hilo Vice Section, estimated the street value of the confiscated drugs at $65,000.

He also commended Officer Weber for his “diligent patrol work” in recognizing the signs of illegal drugs inside the car.

Alonzo’s arrest was the second major bust in two days in the fight against dangerous drugs.

On Tuesday, vice officers arrested a 34-year-old Hilo man at the Hilo International Airport for trying to smuggle two kilograms of cocaine into the Big Island.

The suspect, identified as John James Montoya, of an Ainaola Drive address, was arrested after a flight from Los Angeles, California, through Honolulu to Hilo.

In that case, a search warrant was obtained after a narcotics dog sniffed out cocaine hidden in the bottom of a hollowed out cooler filled with tamales, chorizos and tortillas that had arrived with suspect at the Hilo airport.

Tavares estimated the cocaine recovered in that arrest had a street value of $85,000 to $100,000.

Montoya was turned over to federal authorities for prosecution.

Tavares said Big Island officers will continue to work with state and federal prosecutors in seeking the maximum punishment for individuals arrested for narcotic violations.

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