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Man remains in prison but settles Hawaii firearms case

WAILUKU — A Waihee man was given credit for 18 months he spent in jail and was placed on four years’ probation for participating in a burglary where firearms were stolen last year.

Elijah Kaneakua, 39, will remain incarcerated until he finishes serving a federal prison sentence for crimes involving the same firearms, said Deputy Public Defender Ben Lowenthal in court Oct. 23.

Deputy Prosecutor Shelly Miyashiro said Kaneakua accepted the same plea offer as co-defendant Barret “BJ” Paman, 32, of Hana who was sentenced in April and also is serving a federal prison sentence in connection with the firearms.

The burglary occurred March 7, 2019, when a gun safe containing firearms, rifle receivers, boxes of ammunition and jewelry was stolen from a Waiehu residence.

Through investigation, police made contact with Kaneakua, who at first said he had no information about the burglary, Miyashiro said. He told police that co-defendant Vanasa Kinney had given him the jewelry to hold and asked him to store a container holding rifles, Miyashiro said.

She said a witness told police he was given a scope by Kaneakua, who owed the witness money, on the evening of the burglary. The witness also told police Kaneakua was trying to sell a few guns, Miyashiro said.

She said Paman told police that he and Kinney had taken the safe from the house after Kinney provided them with information.

No restitution was requested, Miyashiro said.

Lowenthal said all of the firearms were recovered.

While in custody, Kaneakua has taken classes to develop skills he can use when released, Lowenthal said.

Kaneakua said he has taken college courses in business management.

“I want to apologize to the victims for my action,” he said in court.

Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen followed the plea agreement in sentencing Kaneakua, who pleaded no contest Oct. 23 to first-degree burglary.

In his federal case, Kaneakua was sentenced Oct. 1 to three years and five months in prison after he had pleaded guilty to unlawful transport of firearms and receiving stolen firearms. He also was sentenced to three years’ supervision after he completes the prison term.

Kinney, 28, was placed on four years’ probation in April after she pleaded no contest to first-degree burglary, 19 counts of first-degree theft and second-degree theft. She spent more than 13 months in jail.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached atlfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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