In Brief | Big Isle & State

Police officer injured in booby-trapped weed patch

Big Island police are investigating a case involving a Federal Task Force officer who stepped on a booby trap device in a marijuana patch while chasing a wanted suspect in Puna.

At about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, while conducting warrant sweeps in the Ainaloa subdivision, a Federal Task Force officer was attempting to apprehend a wanted individual in the area of Azure Drive. The officer ran into the brush area in a marijuana patch and stepped on a booby trap device made of nails, causing puncture injuries, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

The presence of a booby trap device in a marijuana patch increases the offense to first-degree commercial promotion of marijuana, a class A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, police said.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact Lieutenant Mark Farias of the Area I Vice Section at 961-2253 or Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000

Police investigate alleged robbery

Police are investigating a robbery and auto theft early Tuesday morning in Puna’s Leilani Estates subdivision.

A 41-year-old man reported that sometime between midnight and 3 a.m. he was assaulted outside his house on Maile Street and a car was stolen from the driveway.

The attacker is described as a local male, average height and weight with medium-length dark hair and a “local accent.” The car is described as a blue, 2005 Kia Optima four-door sedan, license plate ZAT 755.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to contact Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or

Tipsters who prefer anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Man sentenced in stabbing case

A 44-year-old man has been sentenced to 120 days in jail and a year probation for a stabbing that took place 2 1/2 years ago in Volcano.

Darren “Chewy” Hopfe will be allowed to serve his sentence on weekends and holidays and will receive credit for time served. In a deal with prosecutors, Hopfe pleaded no contest to third-degree assault. Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura also ordered Hopfe to make restitution of $7,137.23 to the state Department of Human Services.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 13, 2012. Hopfe was originally charged with first-degree assault, a Class B felony. That charge was later dropped and Hopfe was indicted Aug. 9, 2012, for second-degree assault, a Class C felony, with a lesser included charge of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.

The victim, 49-year-old Daran Campbell of Volcano, was hospitalized with an abdominal wound after the attack. While hospitalized, Campbell said Hopfe had been arguing with Campbell’s girlfriend, had threatened her, and that Hopfe stabbed him when he intervened.

Hopfe told the court he has given up drinking and most social interaction since the confrontation, is working as an auto mechanic and studying to become a certified master mechanic. He said he believed “we was all wrong” and turned to look at Campbell in the gallery.

“I ask for your forgiveness,” Hopfe said. “Sorry for what happened.”