Hawai’i Police Department
Criminal Investigations Division
Captain Randall Medeiros
February 19, 2009
Report No. C09005212
Media Release (correction)
Hawaii Police Department vice officers arrested four persons in connection with a methamphetamine trafficking investigation conducted in the Keaau area of Puna on Monday (February 16).
Thirty-four-year-old Ruel Castro of Keaau, 29-year-old Christopher Saribay of Hilo and 29-year-old Diane Blanco of Keaau were arrested on suspicion of drug possession after being contacted within a vehicle in the Keaau town area.
After a Hawaii Police Department narcotics canine alert, police served a search warrant on the vehicle. Hilo vice officers recovered 41 grams of crystal methamphetamine from the vehicle. The "ice" had a street value of approximately $8,000.
Castro, Saribay, and Blanco were charged with a variety of drug offenses including first-degree methamphetamine trafficking. Castro is being held at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $18,000 bail. Saribay and Blanco were released after posting $9,000 and $11,000 bail, respectively.
Forty-four-year-old Wendell Olivera of Hilo was also arrested after Hilo Vice officers contacted him in his vehicle in the same area and observed a firearm within. After a narcotic canine alert on Olivera’s vehicle and a subsequent search warrant, Hilo vice officers recovered 2.5 grams of crystal methamphetamine, a shotgun and a semi-automatic handgun.
Olivera, a convicted felon, was arrested and charged with numerous firearms offenses (including ownership of a firearm prohibited) as well as second-degree methamphetamine trafficking [corrected offense] and numerous other drug offenses.
Olivera is currently being held at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $40,000 bail. Both he and Castro are scheduled for their initial court appearances this afternoon (Thursday) in South Hilo District Court.