East Hawaii News

Puna man sentenced to 10 years in prison on gun, drug charges stemming from 2020 traffic stop

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A Big Island man was sentenced to a concurrent 10-year prison term on firearm and drug charges stemming from a traffic stop nearly three years ago.

Omar Kesment New

Omar Kesment New, a 46 year-old from Puna, pleaded no contest Nov. 30, 2022, to ownership or possession prohibited of a firearm and third-degree promoting a dangerous drug. He was sentenced this week in Hilo Circuit Court.

Ownership or possession prohibited is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Third-degree promoting a dangerous drug is a Class C felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

New was arrested Sept. 27, 2020, on an outstanding bench warrant following a traffic stop by patrol officers in Hilo. While they had the vehicle stopped, officers saw New was wearing an empty firearm holster and also observed drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle. A search warrant was subsequently executed on the vehicle New was operating and Hawai‘i Police Department VICE officers recovered a loaded .40-caliber Glock handgun with no serial numbers, also called a “ghost gun”; live ammunition; and several grams of methamphetamine.


The case was initiated by the Hawai‘i Police Department South Hilo Patrol. The felony drug investigation was handled by the department’s Area I VICE Section.

The case was prosecuted by Hawai‘i County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Elyssa Correia Keltner.


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