WAILUKU - A Molokai man who was found with methamphetamine and marijuana during two police searches of his residence last year will be released from jail to enter a drug treatment program.
But Kawika Pa, 29, was cautioned that he faces additional time if he doesn't follow through with what he wrote in a letter to the court.
"Your words are pretty, your prose is nice," 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo told Pa. "I hope you take your own advice."
She reminded him that he isn't to consume alcohol and illegal drugs as part of four years' probation.
"Slip once, you fail," Loo said. "No bail, straight jail."
Pa had pleaded no contest to second- and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, second- and third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug and a reduced charge of first-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.
The charges are related to drugs found during the two searches of Pa's residence.
Molokai police obtained warrants to search Pa and his residence on March 31, 2013, when police recovered 10.63 grams of methamphetamine, 29.61 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, said Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones. Some of the methamphetamine was packaged in "dealership quantities," she said, and Pa admitted he was selling the drug.
"He did have the opportunity to clean up his conduct but did not," Jones said. "So police went back to the same premises. They ended up having another successful raid."
On July 24, police seized $2,459 in cash, along with 0.37 gram of methamphetamine, 7.7 grams of marijuana, more than 7 pounds of marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia, Jones said. She said Pa told police he had stopped selling methamphetamine after the earlier raid but was still getting the drug for people.
"That was the lifestyle he chose to live," Jones said. "He needs to change his mindset."
Pa asked to be sentenced as a first-time nonviolent drug offender to allow the opportunity for the charges to be expunged from his record. He has plans and a space to enter a residential drug treatment program, said his attorney Jon Apo.
"Hopefully, this treatment helps me better myself," Pa said.
Loo found that Pa wasn't eligible for the special sentencing because of his prior convictions for two counts of abuse and second-degree terroristic threatening.
She also noted that Pa's arrests in the two incidents occurred within four months.
"I would have hoped after the first arrest, you would have learned something," she said. "But four months later, you were arrested for the same thing."
Pa was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.
After spending about four months in jail, Pa is to be released Wednesday to enter drug treatment.
Loo followed a plea agreement between the defense and prosecution in sentencing Pa.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.