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Puna Couple Arrested and Charged with Firearm and Drug Offenses

by Thunda

Hawai’i Island police have arrested and charged Justin Jay Flores and Theresa Pua Olena Borges, both 41-years-old, with an array of firearms and drug offenses.  

On Wednesday afternoon, April 26, 2023, after conferring with the County Prosecutor’s Office, detectives charged the couple, each with the following offenses:

  • Place to keep loaded firearm
  • Four counts ownership or possession prohibited
  • Three counts place to keep ammunition
  • Third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug

Bail was set at $141,000 each for Flores and Borges.

The charges against Flores and Borges stem from an incident reported Tuesday morning, April 25, 2023, when Puna Community Policing officers were following up on a report of gunshots being heard the previous evening on Hapu‘u Road in the Nanawale Estates subdivision in Pāhoa.

Officers contacted the caller who directed officers towards the area where the gunshots were believed to have originated from. As officers went to investigate, they located a van parked fronting a residence on Hapu’u Road, with two individuals sleeping within. At that point, officers also observed a lever action rifle on the vehicle floor between Flores and Borges. Officers then instructed both parties to exit the vehicle.

Flores and Borges were then arrested and the vehicle was recovered as evidence pending execution of a search warrant. Officers also observed spent .22 caliber casings in the area of the parked vehicle.   

Area I Criminal Investigation Section detectives later served a search warrant on the vehicle. The search yielded the recovery of the rifle, which was determined to be loaded, various caliber ammunition, just under .7 grams methamphetamine, and a glass smoking pipe with residue. The firearm was also determined to have previously been reported stolen.

The Hawai’i Police Department encourages the public to call and report suspicious activity. This is an excellent example of the community working in partnership with the police, which ultimately led to the arrest and charge of two individuals who are prohibited from possession of firearms or ammunition, and the recovery of a loaded stolen firearm.      

Police remind the public that tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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