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Puna Man Accused of Habitual Property Crime Charges, Purchasing Stolen Vehicle with Meth

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A Puna man was charged with habitual property crime and for purchasing a stolen Dodge Challenger, originally taken from a Nanawale residence on Jan. 22, with methamphetamine.

On Monday, 38-year-old J. Rowe Keola Bennett made his initial appearance in Hilo District Court where he pleaded not guilty to the following offenses: second-degree robbery, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, habitual property crime, first-degree unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.

If convicted as charged, Bennett faces sentencing to a mandatory prison term as a result of his prior felony convictions.

Bennett was also arrested for two outstanding Circuit Court warrants that were issued after he failed to appear for resentencing for revocation of his felony probation earlier in January. On Jan. 27, Bennett appeared in Hilo Circuit Court for return on the Circuit Court warrants, where he was granted supervised release again over Prosecutors’ objections.

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Despite being granted supervised release in his Circuit Court matters, Bennett remains in custody in lieu of $45,000 bail for his new felony charges and was ordered to appear for his preliminary hearing on Feb. 2 in Hilo District Court.

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