Friday, March 01, 2024|
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A Puna man police think is behind alleged threats to a Hilo Circuit Court judge was sentenced Tuesday to 15 days in jail on unrelated traffic matters.
Hilo District Judge Harry Freitas imposed the sentence on 33-year-old Ronald Joseph Kong of Pahoa on a charge of driving without insurance.
Kong, the subject of a weeklong police manhunt, was arrested at about 11:45 p.m. Sunday at an Ainaloa subdivision home on suspicion of domestic abuse, terroristic threatening, unlawful imprisonment and assault.
In addition to the traffic charges, Kong also is charged with four counts of contempt of court and two of failure to appear, the result of bench warrants. Bail on those charges was set at $4,100.
Kong was the subject of two wanted bulletins by police this month, one Jan. 11 and the other Jan. 14, seeking the public’s help in locating him. Neither bulletin mentioned the alleged threats to the judge, but a written statement about the alleged threat — which didn’t mention Kong — was sent to the media just minutes before the second wanted bulletin. Police say the alleged threat against the judge, who was not named, was reported Jan. 11, the date of the first wanted bulletin.
Detectives also are investigating 18 firearms-related charges, which include the alleged possession of two handguns, a sawed-off shotgun and a rifle with silencer; two charges related to explosives; two counts of burglary; five counts of felony theft; five counts each of promoting a dangerous drug and drug paraphernalia; and a single marijuana possession charge.
The firearms and explosives reportedly were found in a stolen late-model Toyota pickup truck Kong allegedly was driving. Detectives reportedly spotted Kong driving the truck south on Volcano Highway (Highway 11) in Mountain View on Jan. 12.
The truck was stopped near Kukui Camp Road. Police say Kong fled on foot into thick brush and eluded capture and officers took the stolen vehicle into evidence and searched it.
During the manhunt, a multiagency task force including local and federal bomb squads executed a search warrant Friday on a Hawaiian Acres property, looking for Kong and additional firearms and explosives.
The 15-day jail sentence gives police detectives additional time to investigate the alleged additional offenses without having to release Kong within 48 hours if charges aren’t filed in those cases.
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