WAILUKU - A 69-year-old Kahului man was fined $1,500 and placed on five years' probation June 20 after police seized cash and records indicating that he was running a sports bookmaking operation in 2008.
"On this occasion, you gambled and you lost," 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo told Ernest Deponte. "Next time you come to court, you gamble and you're going to go to prison."
Deponte had pleaded no contest to two counts each of first-degree promotion of gambling and possession of a gambling device.
Police executed warrants to search Deponte, his vehicle and his residence on Niihau Street on Nov. 11, 2008, recovering more than $10,000 cash and records, said Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas. He said an FBI analysis confirmed a "fairly elaborate" and large bookmaking operation.
In just a nine-day period in 2008, 210 wagers totaling more than $88,000 were made on NCAA and NFL games, Temas said. The amounts of the bets ranged from $5 to $2,475, according to court records.
Temas said Deponte took a 20 percent cut.
Deponte was observed using runners and taking bets in his home and vehicle, at times at Kahului Harbor, Temas said.
"Sorry for what I did," Deponte said in court.
Loo, who followed a plea agreement in sentencing Deponte, said he should have known better.
"Just remember, Mr. Deponte, your betting days are over as of right now," she told him.
In another sentencing last week, a 28-year-old Pukalani man was given a chance to keep convictions for disorderly conduct off his record if he follows court requirements for one year.
Dustin Nakasone had originally been charged with second- and third-degree assault of two women during a Feb. 17, 2007, birthday party in the "Plenty Kiawe" area of Kaupo.
Twenty to 30 young adults were at the remote location where there was liquor, a beer keg and marijuana, according to court records.
One woman, who went to the aid of her boyfriend after he and Nakasone got into a fight, was struck on the head with a baseball bat that broke in two, according to court records. She suffered a 3-inch scalp laceration that required 27 stitches to close. Another woman, who was pregnant, reported being kicked in the stomach.
The fighting broke out after a male jumped on the hood of the vehicle that the women were in and smashed the windshield with his feet, according to police.
Defense attorney Cary Virtue said Nakasone was working and hadn't gotten into trouble in the five years since that night.
"I just want to apologize for getting involved with those altercations that night," Nakasone said in court.
Deputy Prosecutor Cody Minatodani said most of those involved were intoxicated. She said conflicting stories began surfacing as the case was being prepared for trial.
Nakasone had pleaded no contest to the two lesser counts of disorderly conduct.
"Whether you were acting as a protector of your girlfriend or not, your behavior was uncalled-for," Loo told Nakasone. "Thank goodness that nothing serious happened to either of these two women."
Nakasone was ordered to pay $476 in restitution, not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to complete anger management treatment.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.