Man sentenced to 10 years' probation for drugs | News, Sports, Jobs – Maui News

Mar 21, 2022
The Maui News
WAILUKU — A Wailuku man who was arrested when police seized more than 2 ounces of methamphetamine from his residence was placed on 10 years’ probation.
Greg Awai, 53, who previously spent 17 days in jail, was spared any additional jail time when he was sentenced March 3.
Police reported finding the methamphetamine, as well as marijuana, drug paraphernalia and nearly $1,700 in cash when vice officers executed a warrant to search Awai and his residence on Pumehana Street on Feb. 20, 2018.
While police said the large amounts of drugs and money were indications of drug dealing, Deputy Public Defender Zach Raidmae said “there’s a large spectrum of what a drug dealer is.”
“The vast majority of drug dealers I’ve represented are selling drugs to use drugs,” Raidmae said. “It really is a small-time users market.”
He said Awai had stopped abusing methamphetamine a year and a half ago so he wouldn’t be selling it.
“He went through the recovery process,” Raidmae said. “He’s struggling, but he’s struggling in ways probation can address. If he goes out and relapses, he’s going to get 20 years in prison.”
While following a plea agreement between the defense and prosecution that recommended probation rather than prison, 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill said that if Awai doesn’t comply with probation, he would face “real consequences — you’re spending basically the majority of the rest of your life in prison.”
“Without the little people, the big people don’t have anything because the big people aren’t going to put themselves at risk except through the little people,” Cahill said.
He said Awai hadn’t been charged with any new crimes in the four years since his arrest, although his record while released on supervision had been “spotty.”
Awai had pleaded no contest to first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and two counts of second-degree theft. Other charges were dismissed in exchange for his pleas.
He was ordered to pay $7,608 in restitution to GEICO for the theft of a 2004 Mercedes Benz.
In another sentencing March 3, a 32-year-old Texas woman was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine after police reported arresting her with 2 pounds or more of marijuana on July 8, 2019.
Elaine Chase had pleaded no contest to an amended charge of first-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.
A plea agreement between the defense and prosecution recommended the fine and no additional jail.
Judge Cahill granted her request for a chance to keep the conviction off her record if she stays out of trouble for the next two years. He noted that Chase doesn’t have any connections to Maui except that she was arrested here.
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