Prosecutor: Men stole green goats on St. Patrick’s Day

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A Friday incident in Paukaa had the earmarks of a St. Patrick’s Day stunt gone awry — but it wasn’t a joke, and three men stand accused of felony livestock theft and other charges.

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A Friday incident in Paukaa had the earmarks of a St. Patrick’s Day stunt gone awry — but it wasn’t a joke, and three men stand accused of felony livestock theft and other charges.

The men — 47-year-old Ross Pacheco of Papaikou, 29-year-old Cody Pacheco-Dela Cruz of Paauilo and 37-year-old Jason Fiesta, of no permanent address — stole seven goats that were spray-painted green by the animals’ owner for identification purposes, according to Deputy Prosecutor Glenn Shiigi.

Police say the goat farmer, a 38-year-old Hilo man identified in court documents as Mark Crivello, reported that someone broke into a fenced area in Paukaa and stole the goats. A few hours later, just after 11 a.m., Crivello saw a truck on Kaiwiki Road with the goats in its bed. He reportedly stopped the truck and confronted the driver and his two passengers.

The three suspects remained at the scene and were taken into custody after police arrived.

Police on Saturday charged Pacheco with livestock theft, third-degree theft, fourth-degree theft, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing a firearm on a highway and having a loaded firearm on a highway.

His bail was set at $157,000.

Pacheco-Dela Cruz was charged with livestock theft, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and possessing a loaded firearm on a highway.

His bail was set at $11,000.

Fiesta was charged with livestock theft, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia.

His bail was set at $6,000.

Deputy Public Defender Austin Hsu on Monday asked Judge Diana Van De Car to reduce Pacheco’s bail, while Shiigi countered that Pacheco poses a flight risk because he has 17 prior contempt of court convictions.

Shiigi added that Pacheco currently is on five years probation for drug and paraphernalia offenses.

“I’ll also note that defendant is charged with possession of a firearm. … There are several reasons for substantial bail, high bail,” the prosecutor said.

The judge maintained bail for all three suspects at the amounts originally set.

She ordered Pacheco and Fiesta to return for preliminary hearings at 2 p.m. today.

Pacheco-Dela Cruz waived his right to a preliminary hearing within 48 hours and he was told to return for his hearing at 2 p.m. March 30.

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In a written statement, police warned members of the public against confronting suspects of crimes committed against them, citing the unpredictability and possible danger involved in such encounters.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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