Discovery of Meth, Cocaine, Fentanyl in Hilo Home Yields 1 Arrest

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A narcotics search warrant executed at a residence in Hilo yielded one arrest after the discovery of three pounds of methamphetamine as well as cocaine and fentanyl.

Hawaiʻi Police Departmentʻs Area I Vice Section conducted their search on Thursday, Sept. 2, at a residence in the Panaewa Hawaiian Homes Subdivision. During the search, detectives found 3.16 pounds of methamphetamine, 50.5 grams of cocaine, 12 grams of fentanyl, 26 live marijuana plants, 341.9 grams of dried marijuana, ammunition, various drug paraphernalia and illegal fireworks.

Richard Kualiʻi Kamau

Officers also recovered $4,385 in cash.

Richard Kualiʻi Kamau was taken into custody as a result of the search and was arrested on suspicion of various drug charges.


With cooperation between the Hawaiʻi Police Department Area 1 Vice Section, Homeland Security Investigations, and the County of Hawaiʻi Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, the US Attorney’s Office has adopted the prosecution of this case.

Charges were filed against Kamau in US District Court in Honolulu on Sept. 3 for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and felon in possession of ammunition.

Kamau was currently out on bail at the time of his arrest. On March 10, 2021, the Hilo man was charged in District Court on the following offenses: three counts of ownership or possession prohibited; two counts of place to keep pistol or revolver; place to keep ammunition; two counts of manufacturing, purchasing or obtaining firearm parts to assemble a firearm having no serial number; two counts of second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug; two counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug; fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug; possession of an unserialized firearm with intent to facilitate the commission of a felony offense; drug paraphernalia; and driving without a license.


At the district court hearing, Kamau pleaded not guilty to the charges. Judge M. Kanani Laubach released Kamau on his own recognizance and reduced bail from $218,000 to $193,020 over the objection from the state.

Kamau was later indicted on the charges in 3rd Circuit Court on March 17, 2021. Judge Henry Nakamoto maintained bail conditions as it was previously posted when charges were filed in District Court.

Kamau was scheduled to appear in court for a change of plea hearing in October.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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