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Police in Kona charge 3 with narcotics offenses


An investigation into an alleged robbery and carjacking in Kona resulted last week in three people being charged with narcotics offenses.

Two Kona men reported April 17 that they had been robbed of their personal possessions at gunpoint by two acquaintances. The victims said they were forced to drive to an undisclosed location, where they were then robbed of their truck. The incident allegedly occurred April 14.

During their investigation, detectives identified 34-year-old Kali Lau­lea of California as one of the suspects.

Officers spotted Lau­lea on Tuesday in a sport utility vehicle driven by 24-year-old Captain Cook resident Ka­trina Deni­son. Police stopped the vehicle on Kea­hole Airport Access Road and arrested Lau­lea.

During the arrest, the officers saw a car driving erratically and pulled it over.

Inside were 23-year-old Sialeataonga Lau­lea of California and 27-year-old Vili­ami Tafea of Nevada. It was unclear whether or how the two Lau­leas are related.

A search of the SUV driven by Deni­son turned up a loaded firearm, several rounds of unspent ammunition, 0.6 grams of marijuana, a marijuana pipe and items belonging to one of the robbery victims, police said.

A search of the other vehicle turned up a pound of cocaine with a street value of approximately $25,000 and two grams of marijuana.

Kali Laulea was charged with first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, two additional drug-related offenses and five firearms violations. His bail was set at $162,500.

Denison was charged with first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, two other drug-related offenses and four firearms violations. Her bail was set at $23,250.

Tafea was charged with first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, possession of drug paraphrenia, promoting detrimental drugs and driving without a license. His bail was set at $12,200.

Sialeataonga Laulea was released without charges pending further investigation.

Police continue to search for a man identified as Kali Lau­lea’s accomplice in the robbery.

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