Feds to pick up case against Kona woman accused of possessing 2.7K fentanyl pills, more than 1.7 pounds of meth

  • Conway

A 44-year-old Kona woman reportedly nabbed with over a pound of methamphatemine, thousands of fentanyl pills, heroin and firearms will see her case tried in federal court.

Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen said Tuesday the case against Jennifer M. Conway will be picked up by federal prosecutors after a preliminary slated for today had been removed from the calendar. A federal complaint had yet to be filed with U.S. District Court in Honolulu as of press-time.


“Our Office will continue to work in coordination with HPD, and our federal partners to address illegal drug distribution and hold these offenders accountable for poisoning our community,” Waltjen said.

The charges follow a month-long collaborative drug trafficking investigation that spanned between Hawaii Island and Washington.

During the course of the investigation, police executed search warrants on Conway’s luggage, person, vehicle, and residence, recovering approximately 800 grams (1.7 pounds) of suspected crystal methamphetamine, approximately 50 grams (1.76 ounces) of suspected heroin, and approximately 2,700 fentanyl pills, two fraudulent identification cards, and an unregistered 45 caliber pistol.

The recovered drugs have an estimated street value of $300,000, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

Conway was arrested April 21 by Hawaii Police Department officers at the Kailua-Kona airport.

A 16-count complaint filed April 25 by Hawaii County prosecutors charged Conway with numerous drug offenses including four counts first-degree promoting a dangerous drug, three counts attempted first-degree promoting a dangerous drug, two counts second-degree promoting a dangerous drug, three counts third-degree promoting a dangerous drug, prohibited acts related to drug paraphernalia. Conway was also charged with ownership or possession of firearm prohibited, ownership or possession of ammunition prohibited, and registration mandatory.

Conway made her initial appearance Monday in Kona District Court during which Judge Joseph P. Florendo maintained bail at $412,000l, denying defense requests for reduced bail or supervised release.

According to Waltjen, Conway was on supervised release at the time of her arrest of her arrest. A check of court records showed Conway had been granted supervised release in connection with a drug case filed in February stemming from an arrest in January.

Conway pleaded not guilty on Feb. 18 to third-degree promoting a dangerous drug, three second-degree promoting a dangerous drug and prohibited acts related to drug paraphernalia. Jury trial in the case is set for June 28.

Conway was also a co-defendant in a 2019 drug case. Two counts of third-degree promoting a dangerous drug and one count of first-degree promoting a dangerous drug were dropped ahead of trial in fall 2021 after the defense was not provided with discovery documents on time.

Hawaii County prosecutors had indicated they planned to pursue enhanced sentencing measures for Conway, noting 2003 convictions out of King County, Washington, for possessing and intending to manufacture or deliver methamphetamine. If the case had remained in state court, she could have faced up to life in prison if convicted of the seven Class A felony charges filed in the case.

Anyone having information concerning illegal narcotics distribution should call the Hawaii Police Department Vice Section in East Hawaii at (808) 961-2258 or in West Hawaii at (808) 326-4646, ext. 226. Those who prefer to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

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