Drug bust case moves forward

  • Kryst Teinauri-Nakamura
  • Samuel Hernandez

KAILUA-KONA — Among items recovered during a search of a homeless housing unit were a glass pipe and a loaded syringe, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing for defendant Samuel Hernandez.

Hernandez, 58, and Kryst Teinauri-Nakamura, 18, were arrested Tuesday on drug-related charges after Hawaii Police officers served a search warrant at a unit in Hale Kikaha, a homeless housing area run by Hope Services Hawaii, located at Pawai Place in the Old Kona Industrial Area.

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The Kona Special Enforcement Unit searched a micro-unit, which is about 8 feet wide by 20 feet long. Maj. Robert Wagner with Hawaii Police said officers recovered marijuana, a small amount of methamphetamine, a small amount of heroin, illegal pills and drug paraphernalia.

Hernandez, resident at Hale Kikaha, was taken into custody on several drug-related charges. Teinauri-Nakamura, who had been staying with Hernandez for the past few days, was also arrested and charged.

Hernandez and Teinauri-Nakamura appeared in district court before Judge Peter Bresciani Thursday afternoon. The preliminary hearing started with both defendants and their counsel before the judge but after discussion, Bresciani decided to hear the cases separately.

The court moved forward with Hernandez as he is currently in custody. Teinauri-Nakamura made bail.

Hawaii Police Officer Shane Davis testified that he participated in the initial part of the search. He said he and other officers went to Hernandez’s unit Tuesday afternoon and knocked on the door, indicating they had a search warrant.

Hernandez came to the door. In plain view, Davis testified, there was a glass smoking pipe with a crystalline substance on a wooden shelf by the bed. Hernandez was placed under arrest at that time.

The officer said the residue on the pipe field-tested positive for methamphetamine, a brown tar substance in plastic was found in the pocket of a shirt and a loaded syringe was recovered from a drawer.

The substance inside the needle appeared to be a clear crystallized substance.

Davis didn’t test the brown tar substance; however, based on his experience and training as a vice officer, he testified it appeared to be heroin. It was sent to the crime lab for testing.

Hernandez’s attorney Kimberly Taniyama questioned Davis about the drug testing process and where the testing kit is kept and stored.

Davis said field testing results doesn’t always come back confirmed by the crime lab. He said the kit is kept in the vice office at the Kealakehe police station.

Taniyama confirmed with Davis that the vice office recovers a variety of different drugs and at different times.

“There is residue from drugs you can’t really see, correct?” she asked.

Davis answered: “it’s possible.”

Taniyama asked about the tool used in the testing kit to scrape residue from the pipe. She questioned Davis on how or whether that tool is reused or changed out.

Davis said he sterilizes it before each test.

Bresciani continued the preliminary hearing to Monday.

Teinauri-Nakamura was also ordered to return Monday for her preliminary hearing.

After his arrest, Hernandez was charged with three counts of third-degree promoting a dangerous drug; fourth-degree promoting a harmful drug; second-degree promoting a detrimental drug; and drug paraphernalia.

His bail was set at $7,025.

Teinauri-Nakamura was charged with two counts of third-degree promoting a dangerous drug; third-degree promoting a detrimental drug; and drug paraphernalia.

Her bail was set at $2,2075.

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Brandee Menino, CEO for Hope Services, said Hale Kikaha units are affordable rental units. Each tenant has a lease agreement and must follow the conditions of that lease.

“Our staff and community partners work hard to help our community’s most vulnerable, including those with addictions, seek shelter and housing and help get them back on track,” Menino said in an email Thursday night.

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