Man nets more prison time, hopes to be better when he gets released

WAILUKU – A Wailuku man, already serving a 15-year federal prison term for gun and drug charges, was sentenced Tuesday to five-year state prison terms to be served at the same time.

“I cannot change what I did,” Michael Saffery-Hoopii, 26, said in court.

He thanked family members who were in the courtroom gallery and said he hoped to “be one better man when I get out.”

According to federal court records, Saffery-Hoopii had been participating in the Maui Drug Court program when he was arrested Aug. 17, 2011, with methamphetamine, a semiautomatic pistol and $405 in cash.

After being indicted by a federal grand jury, he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In January, Saffery-Hoopii was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Honolulu to concurrent 10-year prison terms for the first three charges and a five-year prison term to be served consecutively for the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, court records show.

Saffery-Hoopii had been participating in the Drug Court program of treatment and supervision as part of two state criminal cases involving charges of second-degree burglary, second-degree theft and fourth degree theft.

He was charged in one case for taking a teacher’s wallet and money in 2004, said Deputy Prosecutor Renee Ishikawa Delizo. She said a 2008 case was for breaking into Dani’s Catering and stealing $13, which wasn’t repaid to the business.

Saffery-Hoopii had agreed to end his participation in Drug Court before he was sentenced.

As a repeat offender, he was ordered to serve a mandatory minimum term of one year and eight months before being eligible for parole.

Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza sentenced Saffery-Hoopii, following a plea agreement between the defense and the prosecution.

In another sentencing April 12, a 38-year-old Kahului man was given credit for 23 days he previously spent in jail and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service for theft and drug charges.

Robert Miyahira was given a chance to keep convictions off his record if he complies with court requirements for five years.

He had pleaded no contest to second-degree theft, attempted second-degree theft, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia in connection with his arrest Sept. 10, 2010.

Miyahira was confronted after being seen under a 2007 Chevrolet truck parked at Valley Isle Seafood on Hukilike Street. He grabbed his backpack and ran toward Papa Place, jumping over a fence before being caught by a bystander, according to court records.

Miyahira was found with catalytic converters, a packet containing crystal methamphetamine, saws, a hammer and a prybar, according to court records.

“You were up to no good that day,” 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo told Miyahira in court. “The only thing you should be converting is not catalytic converters but your attitude. You should be converting your drug use to zero.”

Miyahira was ordered to pay $132 in restitution.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at