Waikoloa bust case moves toward trial

KEALAKEKUA — A District Court judge found probable cause to commit a Waikoloa man, accused of drug and firearm offenses, to 3rd Circuit Court for further court proceedings Friday afternoon.

James Anthony Nelson, 59, is facing two counts of first-degree promotion of dangerous drugs, two counts of second-degree promotion of dangerous drugs, one count of drug paraphernalia and six firearm charges.

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During a preliminary hearing on Friday, District Court Judge Margaret Masunaga maintained bail at $254,025. Nelson will appear before 3rd Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim on Feb. 5 for his arraignment and plea.

Nelson’s charges stem from a drug bust that occurred Tuesday afternoon in Waikoloa Village. Hawaii Police Departments’ Area II Special Enforcement Unit, assisted by the Area II Vice Section and the South Kohala Patrol Division, made contact with the 59-year-old within the parking lot of the Waikoloa Highlands Shopping Center.

During the course of their investigation, officers located and recovered approximately 11.5 grams of a black tar-like substance (suspected heroin), 7.5 grams of a crystalline substance (suspected crystal methamphetamine), numerous drug paraphernalia items associated with heroin and methamphetamine use and an unregistered 9mm pistol.

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Officers also located $5,594 in cash, which was seized for forfeiture.

Nelson’s arrest was a result of a month-long narcotics-related and community nuisance-type investigation, which stemmed from numerous community complaints of suspected narcotic use and narcotics-related activities occurring in the Waikoloa Village area.