Pahoa man indicted for numerous drug and firearm offenses

  • RAPOZO

The Hilo grand jury has indicted a 47-year-old Pahoa man for numerous drug and firearm offenses and felony domestic abuse.

The 16-count indictment, returned Wednesday, charges John Rapozo with two counts of attempted first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, two counts of second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, three counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, first-degree promotion of a harmful drug, two counts each of second- and third-degree promotion of a harmful drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, being a felon in possession of ammunition, first-degree unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle, and felony domestic abuse.

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A bench warrant issued with the indictment for Rapozo’s arrest set his bail at $345,000.

According to court documents filed by police, Rapozo’s 23-year-old girlfriend told police that during a verbal altercation at about 10 p.m. March 27 in the driveway of an Ainaloa subdivision home, Rapozo opened the driver’s side door of her car, slapped her in the face in front of the couple’s 1-year-old daughter, then grabbed her by the arms and threw her to the ground, causing visible swelling, cuts and pain to her right knee.

After issuing an all-points bulletin for Rapozo, police found and arrested him two days later at what documents state is a “shack-style dwelling” on Lama Street in the Panaewa area of Hilo.

After the arrest, police removed vehicles from the property believed to belong to Rapozo. Search warrants on the vehicles turned up 7 grams of heroin, more than 5 grams of methamphetamine in both crystal and liquid form, 9 mm ammunition, empty packaging of the type allegedly used for drug distribution, and almost $3,000 in cash.

In a statement, County Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen described Rapozo as “a career criminal with 38 prior felony convictions.”

“Our office is committed to bringing those individuals to justice who commit acts of domestic violence or seek to profit financially by the exploitation and poisoning of our community through the distribution of dangerous drugs such as methamphetamine and heroin,” Waltjen said.

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Rapozo has been free on $215,000 bond for some of the charges contained in the indictment and has a June 8 court date in Hilo District Court. The indictment, however, moves Rapozo’s case to Hilo Circuit Court.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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