A Puna man, 29 year-old Ku Manuia, was indicted on charges of felon in possession of firearms and ammunition and ghost gun offenses. On October 27, 2022, Manuia was contacted by police while walking along the shoulder of F Road within the Hawaiian Acres subdivision and carrying three bags. At that time, Manuia was wanted on three unrelated bench warrants. Following his arrest, detectives determined that Manuia was in possession of a loaded, unserialized AR-15 style rifle and live green-tipped ammunition.
Manuia is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Hilo Circuit Court on Friday afternoon. He remains in custody in lieu of $25,000.00 bail.
Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen announced that as the Indictment alleges, Manuia, who has a prior felony conviction for theft, was charged with four (4) offenses including Ownership or Possession of Firearm Prohibited, Ownership or Possession of Ammunition Prohibited, Carrying or Possessing a Loaded Firearm on a Public Highway, and Manufacturing, Purchasing, or Obtaining Firearm Parts to Assemble a Firearm Having No Serial Number. Ownership or Possession Prohibited and Carrying or Possessing a Loaded Firearm on a Public Highway are both class B felony offenses which are punishable by a ten year prison term of four years probation and up to eighteen months in jail.
The investigation was handled by members of the Area I Criminal Investigation Division, Community Policing, and VICE Unit, Hawai‘i Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Malate.
The charges are merely allegations, and the Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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.