WAILUKU - Saying he was "too old to be doing stuff like this," a homeless man was given a chance to enter drug treatment after police found marijuana, hashish and $50,000 cash in his storage unit.
Craig Bolter, 59, who has been jailed since his arrest Feb. 12, was placed on four years' probation June 28. He was sentenced to a six-month jail term with the opportunity to be released after 60 days into a residential drug treatment program.
"He understands he was caught selling marijuana," said Deputy Public Defender Jared Brickey. "But he wasn't selling methamphetamine. He wasn't selling prescription pills. Compared to the other drugs he could have been selling, it wasn't as bad."
Brickey said Bolter wants to enter drug treatment and would have a space available in a residential program July 30. Bolter's only two prior convictions were for battery in 1979 and selling hashish or marijuana in 1987, Brickey said.
"I'm too old to be doing stuff like this," Bolter said in court. "I have no intention of going back and doing what I was doing."
Bolter was arrested after a police vice K-9 unit did screenings at a storage facility Feb. 7 and a canine alerted to indicate the odor of illegal narcotics in a unit. Police obtained a search warrant, finding more than 113 grams of marijuana, more than 32 grams of hashish and $50,000 in cash in Bolter's unit.
The cash was stored in bundles of approximately $500 stuffed in cigarette boxes, said Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones.
Bolter was homeless and unemployed, she said.
"He's a person who's chosen an alternative lifestyle," she said. "Usually, homelessness is a predicament people try to pull themselves out of. He's put himself in that situation and professes to be a hippie."
Until his sentencing, Bolter hadn't admitted he was selling marijuana, although the facts indicated that was the case, said 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo.
"Not a lot of homeless people have $50,000 lying around in a locker," she said. "It's clear that you were selling, with that amount of cash and that amount of drugs."
Bolter had pleaded no contest to second- and fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug, second-degree promotion of a detrimental drug and possessing drug paraphernalia. He asked for a chance to keep the convictions off his record or to be sentenced as a first- or second-time drug offender.
Loo denied the requests, noting that Bolter had been smoking marijuana for more than 40 years and hadn't had steady employment for many years.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.