Kona man arrested with drugs, gun and ammo sentenced to five years in jail

  • Herrera

KAILUA-KONA — A man arrested in August with drugs, a firearm and dozens of rounds of ammunition in Kailua-Kona has been sentenced to jail.

Kona Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim on Monday ordered 41-year-old Che Herrera to serve up to five years behind bars following the man’s guilty plea to one of six charges initially filed in the case on Aug. 8. Herrera will receive credit for time served at Hawaii Community Correctional Center since his arrest on Aug. 7.

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The Hawaii Paroling Authority will determine the minimum amount of time Herrera must serve before becoming eligible for parole within six months.

Herrera, in a plea deal meted with prosecutors, pleaded guilty on Oct. 9 to third-degree promoting a dangerous drug, a Class C felony and lesser included offense of second-degree promoting a dangerous drug, a Class B felony. According to the deal, Herrera stated he knowingly possessed methamphetamine.

In exchange for Herrera’s plea, the state agreed to drop all remaining charges, which included two Class B felonies, four Class C felonies and a misdemeanor, court records show.

Herrera was sentenced to the maximum sentence of five years, though he could have received probation with up to a year in jail, and/or a $10,000, per the plea agreement.

Herrera was charged Aug. 8 with second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, ownership or possession of a firearm prohibited, two counts of possession of prohibited weapons and two counts of place to keep after police executed a search warrant on his vehicle.

According to the Hawaii Police Department, Vice and Criminal Intelligence Unit officers on Aug. 7 contacted the occupants of a Dodge pickup parked along Alii Drive. After observing marijuana in the vehicle, officers arrested Herrera and a woman in the vehicle.

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During the investigation, officers recovered 10.6 grams of crystal methamphetamine, a digital scale, 87 rounds of 9mm ammunition, eight rounds of .38 caliber ammunition and a .30 caliber carbine round. Also, a 9mm semi-automatic pistol was recovered, according to police. The street value of the narcotics was just over $2,100.

The woman was never charged with a crime in connection with the incident, according to court records.

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