A Puna man has been charged with commercial promotion of marijuana and related offenses for a suspected marijuana-growing operation in Kurtistown.

On Tuesday (August 25), Area I Vice Section officers served search warrants on a Hawaiian Acres home on the 16-1600 block of Pulelehua Street and two adjacent vacant properties. Officers determined that six medical marijuana permits were associated with the first property and none with the other two.

Police recovered 61 marijuana plants outside the house on the first property and 207 plants from three areas inside the house. An additional 41 plants and numerous pots with cut stems were located on the adjacent properties.

No one was home when officers first executed the search warrants but the owner of the property, 59-year-old John Perreira, later returned home and was arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock while the investigation continued.

In total, police recovered 309 marijuana plants, 68.12 pounds of dried processed marijuana and $19,500 in cash for forfeiture.

At 10:20 a.m. Wednesday (August 26), Perreira was charged with four counts of first-degree promotion of marijuana, four counts of second-degree promotion of marijuana and six counts of possessing drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $90,000.

He remains in the cellblock pending his initial court appearance tentatively scheduled for Thursday (August 27).