Three people have been arrested in connection with a suspected narcotics smuggling operation through the Kona airport.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. Tuesday (December 8), Area II Vice officers at Kona International Airport at Keahole observed as 32-year-old Kellen Foster of Kailua-Kona and 28-year-old James Bruno of Oceanside, California, exited a plane that had arrived from Los Angeles. Foster and Bruno entered a vehicle, also occupied by 21-year-old Jessica Tsibulski of Kailua-Kona, which then left the airport.
Officers observed a traffic violation and conducted a traffic stop on their vehicle on Queen Kaahumanu Highway south of the airport intersection. A narcotics canine screening on the vehicle resulted in a positive alert and the three individuals were arrested on suspicion of promoting dangerous drugs. During a search incident to arrest of Tsibulski, officers recovered two plastic packets containing a brown powdery residue, which tested presumptive positive for heroin. The three were taken to the Kona police cellblock while Vice detectives continued the investigation.
On Wednesday, Vice officers obtained body warrants for Foster and Bruno and took them to Kona Community Hospital. Upon arrival there, officers observed 40.8 grams of a brown tar-like substance suspected to be heroin smeared on the interior of the transport van in the compartment that had been occupied solely by Bruno.
During the execution of the body search warrants, officers recovered 50.3 grams of a brown tar-like substance suspected to be heroin and 12.7 grams of a white crystal-like substance suspected to be methamphetamine from Bruno’s body. They were packaged in a manner consistent with the importation of narcotics.
At 9 a.m. Thursday, Tsibulski was charged with one count each of third-degree promoting dangerous drugs and possessing drug paraphernalia. Her bail was set at $4,000, which she posted early Friday (December 11).
Bruno was charged with one count each of first-degree meth trafficking, first-degree promoting dangerous drugs, tampering with physical evidence, and second-degree criminal tampering, and three counts of possessing drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $332,000. Bruno remained at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance Friday morning.
Foster was released pending further investigation of a possible charge of criminal conspiracy.