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Police arrest Kona man and woman for firearms and drug charges


A Kona man who was wanted for questioning for an unrelated firearm and drug investigation was located Wednesday (March 18) in possession of a weapon and drugs.

Kona patrol officers observed 38-year-old Michael Ventrella of Kailua-Kona at a gas station on Kuakini Highway in Kailua-Kona. They recognized him as a man wanted for questioning and identified a 2012 Jeep next to him as his vehicle. They also identified a woman with him, 36-year-old Waiola Corcoran of Kealakekua, as being his passenger.

Officers observed a firearm inside the Jeep. They arrested the two and took them to the Kona police cellblock for further investigation. During a custodial search of Ventrella, police found 0.5 grams of a white powdery substance suspected to be cocaine and $127 in cash. The Jeep was towed to the police station and the Area II Vice Section took over the investigation.

After executing a search warrant on the Jeep, detectives recovered a loaded, unregistered 9 mm handgun with eight unspent rounds of ammunition, 1 gram of a crystalline substance suspected to be methamphetamine, 1.1 grams of a dried green plant material suspected to be marijuana, three unprescribed pharmaceutical pills and paraphernalia associated with meth use and intravenous narcotics ingestion.

At 3 p.m. Thursday (March 19), Vice detectives charged Ventrella with place to keep pistol, registration mandatory, permit to acquire, carrying or possessing a loaded firearm on a highway, promoting a detrimental drug and two counts each of promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $93,000.

Corcoran was charged with promoting a harmful drug. Her bail was set at $500.

Both were released from custody Thursday night after posting bail.

The Jeep and cash were seized for forfeiture proceedings.

The unrelated case Ventrella was wanted for is still under investigation.

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