Ex-TSA screener admits stealing
A former screener for the Transportation Security Administration pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing money from a checked bag.
Michael Gomes, 32, admitted taking $16,000 from a backpack of a visitor at Moloka'i Airport on Feb. 6. Gomes, who was the only TSA screener assigned to search checked baggage at the time of the theft, was terminated from his job March 28.
Gomes faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor on Sept. 14.
Gomes is the third former TSA employee to plead guilty this year to stealing money from passengers.
On March 30, Benny Arcano and Christopher Cadorna admitted stealing Japanese yen worth thousands of dollars from the bags of departing Japanese tourists in 2004 and 2005. They are scheduled to be sentenced on July 17.
300 SOLDIERS RETURN TONIGHT
About 300 Marines and sailors with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment will arrive at Marine Corps Base Hawai'i at Kane'ohe this evening after completing a five-month deployment to Afghanistan.
The Marines and sailors of the main body will arrive at the base air facility about 6:30 p.m.
MAN ARRESTED IN KAIWIKI SHOOTING
Police have arrested a 34-year-old Hilo man for allegedly firing a handgun at another man after the two argued in Kaiwiki.
Police said Shawn Urubio of Kaiwiki Road was charged with attempted second-degree murder and two firearms violations after he allegedly fired a single shot at an acquaintance at about 1 a.m. Monday.
No one was injured. Urubio was arrested shortly before noon on Monday.
Urubio was being held in a Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Police ask anyone with information to call Detective Gregory Esteban at 961-2384 or the police non-emergency number at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.
BOAT RESCUED SOUTH OF BIG ISLE
The Coast Guard yesterday towed a disabled fishing vessel to Kona after the ship reported engine trouble about 150 miles south of the Big Island.
The master of the 65-foot fishing vessel Ulheelani, with seven crew members aboard, reported to the Coast Guard Tuesday morning that the vessel was disabled and adrift.
The owner tried to make commercial towing arrangements but was unsuccessful. The Coast Guard cutter Kiska and crew departed Hilo Tuesday afternoon and rendezvoused with the Ulheelani Tuesday evening.
The Kiska and Ulheelani are expected to arrive at Kona this morning.
HAWAI'I BUSINESS EXPO STARTS TODAY
The inaugural Hawaiian Business Conference and Economic Expo will be held today and tomorrow at the Hawai'i Convention Center.
Business and community leaders will speak on starting and growing a business, and other issues. There will also be panel discussions on challenges and opportunities in growing Native Hawaiian assets, federal procurement and partnering opportunities with large federal contractors.
For more information, see www.oha.org or call the University of Hawai'i Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship and e-business at 956-5083.