Feb 17, 2022
WAILUKU — A judge reduced bail Wednesday to $300,000 for a man and $100,000 for a woman who were arrested when police reported seizing drugs and a stolen revolver in an investigation involving drug sales arranged through an online app.
Keiundris McQuirter, 22, and Kamahie Baricuatro, 20, were each charged with four counts of attempted first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, two counts of first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, 10 counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, two counts of promoting a controlled substance near a public park, attempted second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, four counts of second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, two counts of attempted first-degree promotion of a harmful drug, second-degree promotion of a harmful drug, first-degree promotion of a harmful drug, first-degree commercial promotion of marijuana, possession of a firearm with intent to facilitate the commission of a felony drug offense, first-degree theft and second-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.
The two were arrested Feb. 8 after police executed warrants to search McQuirter, his vehicle and the Honokowai apartment where they had been living for about three months.
Four days earlier, on the evening of Feb. 4, McQuirter and Baricuatro arrived in a blue Subaru at Lahaina Gateway shopping center to meet an undercover officer who had used the app to arrange to meet McQuirter to buy drugs, Lahaina patrol officer Kamaloni Vainikolo testified Wednesday at a preliminary hearing for the defendants in Lahaina District Court, convening in Wailuku.
Vainikolo said he was with the other officer, who stood by the passenger door next to Baricuatro’s seat and reached into the vehicle to get 1 gram of cocaine and a half-ounce of marijuana in exchange for giving money to McQuirter.
“It was less than 15 seconds,” Vainikolo said.
He said the other officer had arranged another drug buy on Feb. 8 when McQuirter and Baricuatro were detained at Cut Mountain as McQuirter tossed away a lit marijuana cigarette.
Vainikolo was scheduled to continue testifying when the preliminary hearing resumes Friday.
On Wednesday, Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones asked that bail remain at the cash-only amount of $500,000 each for McQuirter and Baricuatro.
In searches of McQuirter, the Subaru and the pair’s residence, police reported finding quantities of cocaine, marijuana, marijuana concentrate, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, Alprazolam pills, powdered amphetamine, marijuana concentrate, marijuana edibles, marijuana seeds, a stolen .44-caliber revolver and about $14,000 in cash.
Jones said McQuirter had a store on the app, an encrypted online platform, with a “menu” offering marijuana, LSD, cocaine, marijuana concentrates and magic mushrooms for sale. Baricuatro had bought drugs from him before they began dating and moved in together, Jones said.
She said a police officer would testify that McQuirter was promoting access to his online drug store through QR codes on stickers in Lahaina. He told police he sells drugs to kids, including Baricuatro’s minor sister, and had driven up to their parents’ houses, Jones said.
“In one case, he met a minor outside a gated community,” she said.
Baricuatro’s attorney, Hayden Aluli, asked for her bail to be reduced to $50,000 so her family could post it.
Defense attorney Annalisa Bernard asked for a reduction to $250,000 for McQuirter, a Navy veteran whose mother flew in from Texas to support him.
In setting lower bail amounts and removing the cash-only requirement, Judge Chris Dunn said, “The allegations are effectively Uber Eats for drugs that is secured through the presence of a stolen firearm.”
He said he also considered other factors, including minimal prior records for both defendants and their family ties and ties to the community, especially the lifelong ties in Baricuatro’s case.
The defendants were ordered not to consume or possess alcohol or illegal drugs and to report for supervision and random drug testing if released on bail. They also were ordered to abide by a 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew and avoid social media activities, except for online University of Hawaii classes for Baricuatro.
The two were ordered to have no contact with each other, and McQuirter was ordered to have no contact with Baricuatro’s minor sister.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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