Responding to citizen complaints of drug activity, Hawaiʻi island police arrested a 55-year-old Hilo man at Kealoha Beach Park in Keaukaha yesterday, (October 4).

About 11:45 a.m., officer, and detectives from the vice section along with South Hilo Community Policing Officers made contact with the driver of a Silver Nissan SUV parked at Kealoha Beach Park. This vehicle and operator had been the subject of several citizen complaints to their respective Community Policing Officer. The officer assigned to that area enlisted the assistance of the Area I Vice section to address these citizens’ concerns.

A search warrant was obtained and executed on the vehicle and operator at which time police recovered 4.8 ounces of marijuana and 1.4 grams of marijuana concentrate. The drugs, in this case, have a street value of just under $2000.00 and were packaged for distribution. Police also recovered just over $450.00 in U.S. currency subject to civil forfeiture.

Arrested at the scene of this search warrant was Edward Mendez of no permanent address in Hilo. He was subsequently charged with first- degree promoting a detrimental drug, promoting a controlled substance within a public park, prohibited acts related to drug paraphernalia and fourth-degree promoting a harmful drug.

Mendez is being held at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $4,275.00 bail pending his initial appearance in South Hilo District Court scheduled for this afternoon, (October 5).

We encourage community members to continue reporting suspicious behavior to police whether it’s through their community police officer, our non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300. 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.