Hawaiʻi Police Department
Area I Vice Section
Acting Lieutenant Ernest Matsumoto
Report No. 19-035187
Hawaiʻi Police Department Vice Detectives have charged a 58-year old State of Hawaiʻi Corrections Officer with a felony drug offense following a traffic stop early Thursday morning (May 2).
The correction officer is identified as Ricky R. Espejo of a Kaʻū address, he is currently assigned to the Hale Nani Correctional facility in Hilo.
A South Hilo Patrol Officer conducted a traffic stop on a pickup truck being driven by a male later identified as Espejo early Thursday morning around midnight after it was observed with a defective brake light, also discovered to have an expired weight tax and safety check. The safety inspection sticker attached to the vehicle was found to have been modified and fraudulent. Upon contacting the driver the police officer observed drug paraphernalia in plain view and subsequently arrested Espejo and a 29-year old female passenger, recovering the pickup truck as evidence.
Vice detectives served a Search Warrant on the truck recovering drug paraphernalia inclusive of items containing methamphetamine drug residue. Upon conferral with prosecutors, Espejo was charged Friday (May 3) at 11:30 p.m. with Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the 3rd degree, a class C Felony. He remains in custody at the Hawaiʻi Police Detention center held on $2000 bail pending a Monday afternoon court appearance in Hilo District Court. The 29-year old female was later released pending further investigation.
Police ask anyone with any information about this incident to call the Police Departments non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Vice Detective Zachary Fernando at 961-2340 or via email at email@example.com.