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Big Isle traffic stop leads to drug charges against three

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A traffic stop for a seat belt violation in North Kohala last week led to drug charges against two men and a woman.

Police officers stopped the car in Kapaau, and determined it was a stolen vehicle. The driver and one of the two passengers were also wanted on bench warrants.

The three were arrested and taken to the Kona police cellblock, and during the course of an investigation police found 6.4 grams of a crystalline subtance and paraphernalia associated with the use of methamphetamine in the car.  

Charged with promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia on Friday afternoon were the 22-year-old driver, Nakalohe Gersaba, who has no permanent address; 36-year-old Rico Echiverri, who also has no permanent address; and 24-year-old Zerica Bell-Ching of Kapaau.  

Gersaba was also charged with driving without a license, driving without insurance and failure to appear. His bail was set at $37,300. Police continue to investigate a possible charge against him for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. 

Echiverri was additionally charged with contempt of court and violating probation. His bail was set at $135,000. 

Bell-Ching’s bail was set at $7,000. 

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