KAPA’A – A police operation on Thursday night resulted in the arrest of Moleni Koli, 36, Anahola, and John Taulung Jr., 29, of Kaimuki, O’ahu, for gambling offenses illegal.

The Kaua’i Police Department, along with the US Marshals Service, executed search warrants and arrest warrants on an industrial complex in Kawaihau District that contained an illegal gambling hall.

Officers seized about a dozen slot machines, a van and an undisclosed sum of money during the raid on Kuahale Street.

As part of the ongoing investigation on Friday, a second pickup truck was located and seized. Search warrants were subsequently executed on both vehicles and, as a result, a handgun, ammunition and methamphetamine were recovered.

“Before and during the pandemic, illegal gambling halls became more prevalent across the state,” said Bryson Ponce, KPD deputy chief in charge of the Bureau of Investigative (Detective) Services.

“Often these places coincide with other illegal activities, such as distributing dangerous drugs and selling unregistered firearms. In addition, they have also been linked to violent crimes, ”he said.

“We are committed to ending all illegal operations in our community, and I am grateful to our officers, as well as those who partnered with us in this investigation, as our community of Eastside is now safer thanks to the diligent efforts of everyone. “

Taulung was charged with promoting second-degree gambling and was released pending further investigation.

Koli is currently in police custody on one count of second degree assault, two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon, two counts of possession of a weapon in an illegal place to keep it, one count of promoting ‘a dangerous drug in the third degree. Last week he was being held in a cell block on $ 500,000 bail.

Any property, such as a residence, commercial property, vehicle, money, boat or any other item used to house, facilitate or advance criminal activity, is subject to forfeiture proceedings. active.

All forms of gambling are illegal in Hawai’i, and the public can report any suspicious activity by sending the KPD to 241-1711. Those who wish to remain anonymous can report a tip to Crime Stoppers Kaua’i at cskauai.org.