State briefs for January 20


Man gets 5 years for forging checks

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — A Kauai man was sentenced to five years in prison for forging his father’s personal checks.

The Kauai prosecuting attorney’s office said Jonathan Niehaus was sentenced last week after admitting he used $7,000 to travel with his then-girlfriend and purchase prescription drugs.

The 28-year-old Kapaa man was arrested in June.

He’s ordered to pay full restitution to First Hawaiian Bank.

Prosecutors said he has convictions dating to 2008 for drug promotion, assault and terroristic threatening.

Prosecuting attorney Justin Kollar said Niehaus repeatedly took advantage of family members and those who trusted him.

Shark expert faces child porn charges

HONOLULU (AP) — A prominent local shark expert is facing child pornography charges after being ensnared in an international sting that’s resulted in nearly 350 arrests.

An investigation into a Canadian man who operated a child porn website found Randy Honebrink was one of the site’s alleged customers. A criminal complaint accuses him of possessing child porn images on his computer.

Honebrink, who is an educational coordinator for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, declined to comment to the station about the charges.

The DLNR said he remains on the job while facing the charges. Honebrink is often called by the media whenever a shark attack occurs.

Navy: Fuel found outside steel tank

HONOLULU (AP) — Navy officials investigating a possible leak at an underground Hawaii facility found fuel outside the tank’s first layer, a spokesman said Thursday.

The Navy is working with state and county officials after a discrepancy was found in the tank’s levels earlier this week.

It was determined there is fuel outside the tank’s steel layer, but it’s not clear whether there was any fuel outside the outer concrete and rock layers, Navy Region Hawaii spokesman Tom Clements said.

Capt. Mark Wheeler, the Navy official in charge of the facility as commander of Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor, said officials were finishing the process of refilling the tank when the discrepancy was measured.

He said the tank was down for the past four years as part of a routine maintenance cycle and started being refueled Dec. 10, 2013.

When operators found the measurement discrepancy, they began transferring fuel immediately to another tank, a process that could take up to five days, the Navy said. Nearby wells were closed as a precaution.

Wheeler said inspectors found a three-foot wet spot on the concrete wall outside the tank, which matched the fuel inside the tank.

 

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