WAILUKU - A defendant described as a "one-man tidal wave" was sentenced Friday to a five-year prison term for a series of burglaries, thefts and firearms violations two years ago.
As a repeat offender, Nathan Sales, 26, was ordered to serve at least three years and four months of the prison term before being eligible for parole.
"There are crime waves and there are tidal waves, and you are a one-man tidal wave," 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo told Sales. "From the houses in Kula you burglarized to the people you hit with guns and threatened in Kahului, all the way to Lahaina, you created havoc everywhere you went. And what a pattern of destruction you caused."
Sales had pleaded no contest to three counts of second-degree burglary, second-degree criminal property damage, five counts of second-degree theft, second-degree terroristic threatening, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug, two counts of prohibited possession of a firearm, two counts of keeping an unloaded firearm in an improper place, attempted second-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, attempted unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and third-degree assault.
Some of the charges were reduced as part of a plea agreement.
According to court records, Sales was implicated in three burglaries of Kula homes, where firearms, jewelry and other valuables were reported stolen Sept. 13 to 22, 2010. On the evening of Sept. 17, 2010, in a Kahului parking lot, witnesses reported that Sales displayed a gun, punched a woman and struck her twice on the forehead with the butt of a revolver.
The woman had confronted Sales' girlfriend about money and was grabbing the girlfriend by the hair and pulling her head down when Sales pointed the gun and told another person to have the woman let go of Sales' girlfriend, according to police. After his girlfriend was released, Sales kicked the other woman once in the head and she fell to the ground, where Sales kicked her, according to court records.
In another incident on Sept. 27, 2010, police said Sales brandished a 9 mm semiautomatic gun at a man at North Market and Vineyard streets in Wailuku.
Sales was arrested later that day, after he fled from a stolen pickup truck and was seen throwing a .38-caliber revolver loaded with five bullets into Kahoma Stream, police said. After trying to open the passenger door of a car in the Lahaina Cannery Mall parking lot, he got into the passenger side of a truck, first demanding the driver take him away from the area, then trying to grab the keys before the driver got out and ran, police said.
Officers arrested Sales in the area.
Sales was ordered to pay $26,348 in restitution for valuables stolen in one of the Kula burglaries.
In another sentencing Friday, a 51-year-old Kihei man was placed on five years' probation for improperly keeping a shotgun and ammunition in his vehicle when he was stopped for suspected drunken driving at about midnight June 15.
Thomas Figueroa had pleaded no contest to the firearms charges, with the prosecution agreeing to dismiss a DUI charge.
That way, Figueroa can continue his work as an auto mechanic that sometimes requires him to test drive vehicles, said Deputy Public Defender William "Pili" McGrath.
Figueroa said he had just received the shotgun and ammunition as part of work he had done.
"Stupid on my part," he said in court. "It wasn't even worth what I deducted from the payment."
Figueroa was given credit for eight days he previously spent in jail. The shotgun and ammunition were forfeited to the state.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.