WAILUKU - With a deputy prosecutor saying a former firefighter had been "poisoning his own department" by selling methamphetamine at the Kahului Fire Station, he was sentenced Tuesday to a 10-year prison term.
Juanito Dudoit, 49, of Wailuku had been a firefighter for more than 20 years before resigning from his job shortly after his arrest July 16 at the fire station.
That evening, police Crime Reduction Unit officers led by Sgt. Jerald Perkett executed a search warrant obtained after police monitored a drug purchase, said Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones. When officers made contact with Dudoit at the back fence separating the fire station from the Maui Marketplace, he was seen throwing three bags containing methamphetamine and his work cellphone over the fence, Jones said. She said police found two packets of methamphetamine in Dudoit's pocket.
While Dudoit initially told police he was holding the drugs for someone, officers found additional methamphetamine and paraphernalia, including scales and smoking pipes, during searches of his sleeping quarters and locker, Jones said. She said the methamphetamine seized totaled 2.5 grams.
Dudoit's girlfriend, who was in his sleeping module, told police she and Dudoit had been "smoking methamphetamine together for some time," Jones said. She said the girlfriend also told police that a box containing drug paraphernalia was Dudoit's and that he would take it with him wherever he went.
Jones said Dudoit told police that he had been using methamphetamine for about five years and was selling the drug in different areas around Wailuku and Kahului as well as at the Kahului Fire Station.
He also told police he had ingested methamphetamine at 6:45 a.m. that day before reporting to work, Jones said.
"That means that on that day, he went to work at the Fire Department - where their motto is to protect life, environment and property - high on meth," she said. "And he was going to sell it from the station."
She said the methamphetamine found on the ground and in Dudoit's pocket was packaged for sale, and he told police he had been selling methamphetamine from the fire station for about one month.
In June 2011, the Crime Reduction Unit had obtained a search warrant based on a monitored methamphetamine purchase at the Kahului Fire Station, Jones said.
Dudoit told police he was obtaining methamphetamine once every two weeks and selling some to try to recoup the money he spent on his drug habit, Jones said.
In a portion of his statement to lead investigator Keoki Santos that Dudoit didn't want written down, Dudoit said "he distributed methamphetamine to other firemen at the Kahului Fire Station," Jones said.
"He didn't want to give up the names," she said. "He also related he has distributed methamphetamine to engine, hazmat and rescue crews."
"He is poisoning his own department," Jones said. "That's why the state takes this case so seriously.
"He's someone that's charged with responsibility for safety and he's dealing drugs and he's high at work."
Speaking in court Tuesday, Dudoit said that he had made bad decisions and needed treatment.
Dudoit had been taken into custody March 1 when he pleaded no contest to an amended charge of second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia in the case. Two other drug charges were dismissed in exchange for his pleas.
As part of his plea deal with prosecutors, Dudoit had agreed to have his bail revoked based on documented incidents of drug use while he had been released and to be taken into custody to begin serving his prison term, Jones said. But after three weeks in jail, Jones said, Dudoit broke the agreement and posted $50,000 bail to be released. The bail amount had been set lower than his original bail after Dudoit's attorney said it would allow him to have better housing in jail, Jones said.
She said she told both Dudoit's attorney and his bail bondsman that Dudoit was violating the plea agreement by posting bail and should turn himself back in to jail, but he didn't.
"His actions speak louder than his words," Jones told Judge Kelsey Kawano. "Saying to you that he wants to turn his life around is opposite to his behavior."
Jones also said that if Dudoit "really wants to change his life and be an asset to the community," he should tell the court who were the firefighters to whom he sold drugs.
Reached Tuesday after the sentencing, Deputy Fire Chief Robert Shimada said police didn't provide the department with details about the investigation, although it was confirmed that Dudoit had been arrested at the fire station and was selling drugs at the station.
"I don't know who he was selling it to," Shimada said. "It's totally unacceptable to have anything to do with drugs in our profession. It has no place in our department."
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.