Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen announced that a Hilo man, 50 year-old Duke Kaleolani Malakaua, was arrested and charged in relation to the theft of a Chevrolet pickup, originally reported stolen from a business located on Olowalu Street in Kona between August 9 and 10, and the attempted distribution of methamphetamine after being observed by police to be operating the Chevrolet pickup on September 2, 2023 near the Hilo Armory. Police reports indicate that VICE officers later obtained a search warrant to search the Chevrolet pickup and recovered over nineteen grams of methamphetamine broken down into distributable amounts.
Malakaua is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Hilo District Court on Tuesday afternoon. He remains in custody in lieu of $120,000.00 bail.
As the Complaint alleges, Malakaua was charged with six offenses including Attempted Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the First Degree (attempt to distribute one-eighth ounce or more of methamphetamine), Theft in the First Degree (obtained or exerted unauthorized control over the property of another, a motor vehicle), Unauthorized Control of a Propelled Vehicle in the First Degree, Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Second Degree (possess one-eighth ounce or more of methamphetamine), Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Third Degree (possess any amount of methamphetamine), and Prohibited Acts Related to Drug Paraphernalia. The most serious charge, Attempted Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the First Degree is a class A felony offense punishable by a maximum penalty of a twenty-year prison term. Theft in the First Degree and Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Second Degree are both class B felony offenses punishable by a maximum penalty of a ten-year prison term.
The charges are merely allegations and the Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The theft case was initiated by Kona Patrol. The arrest was made by South Hilo Patrol and the felony drug investigation was led by the Area I VICE Section, Hawai‘i Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Elyssa Correia Keltner.
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney remains dedicated to the pursuit of justice with integrity and commitment. Anyone having information to assist local law enforcement should call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.