WAILUKU - A woman who told police she had been selling methamphetamine when she was found with drugs in the parking lot of a Kahului golf course was sentenced Aug. 6 to a 10-year prison term.
"Every one of your family members, and everyone who wrote, all said such nice things about you," 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill said as he sentenced Rebecca Dery. "But the bottom line is you were caught and you were caught selling drugs. This goes beyond the mere usage of drugs."
Cahill followed a plea agreement calling for the 10-year prison term for Dery, 33, of Wailuku.
She was arrested March 20, 2012, when police Crime Reduction Unit officers executed warrants to search Dery and her vehicle, said Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones.
She said police recovered a half-ounce of methamphetamine, as well as drug paraphernalia and marijuana. In her statement to police, Dery admitted she had been using methamphetamine on and off for the previous five years and had been selling the drug for about a month, Jones said.
"She told the police officer that she's been selling methamphetamine from her vehicle and she would arrange to meet people wherever," Jones said.
When the warrants were executed, Dery was in the parking lot of The Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course, Jones said.
At the time, Dery was on probation in another drug case.
A charge of attempted first-degree methamphetamine trafficking was dismissed, and Dery had pleaded no contest to second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia and third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.
"You look at her history, you look at her grades, you look at her family support. She comes from a high-functioning family," Jones said. "She, unfortunately, is a product of how methamphetamine doesn't discriminate and how it ruins lives and families. She was hooked on it for years.
"The upside for the community is she's another drug dealer that has been removed from the streets."
After being released pending further investigation following her arrest last year, Dery had been in treatment and was clean and sober, said Deputy Public Defender Wendy Hudson.
She said Dery wanted to continue her religious studies and help others. "It's unfortunate it took this sort of situation," Hudson said.
In court, Dery apologized.
"Unfortunately, there's no way for me to go back in time and change my choice I made," she said. "But I can learn from that and move forward with my life."
Cahill read from a letter Dery wrote asking that she be released into drug treatment. "I understand this is asking for a miracle, but I believe miracles do happen," her letter said.
The judge said he didn't think that was what Dery meant.
"I think you would agree with me if certainly I had a power to perform a miracle today, it would not be to send you back to drug treatment," Cahill told Dery. "It would be to remove the demon."
He said Dery could learn to accomplish that through treatment.
As part of her sentence, Cahill recommended that Dery enter a prison drug treatment program.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.