WAILUKU - A felon who told police he had smoked methamphetamine a couple of hours before being stopped with a loaded gun was sentenced to a 10-year prison term.
When he was arrested in October 2012, Everest Naki, 33, of Kula told police he had gotten the 9mm pistol three days earlier.
Naki told police he had obtained the gun so he could keep it away from another man, who Naki believed "did crazy stuff with guns," said Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones.
"I thought I was doing something right that night when I got the gun," Naki said in court Feb. 11. "Obviously, I did the wrong thing."
Naki, who has already spent more than a year in jail, said he was grateful for the plea bargain calling for the 10-year prison term.
He had pleaded no contest to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, keeping a pistol and ammunition in an improper place, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia and third-degree assault.
Naki said he had moved from Oahu to Maui to change his life, but that turned out to be "the biggest mistake I made."
He said he hoped to participate in programs while incarcerated and has the support of family members.
"He fully acknowledged when he relapsed he made some mistakes," said defense attorney Cary Virtue.
Jones said Naki's arrest resulted from an investigation by the police Crime Reduction Unit. After executing a search warrant, police found the pistol loaded with seven bullets, as well as an additional 30 rounds of ammunition, two glass smoking pipes and a scale.
Naki now has 15 felony convictions and has served five- and 10-year prison terms in the past, Jones said. She said he also has gone through drug treatment programs.
He had finished serving a prison term within seven months of being stopped by police, Jones said.
When Naki was arrested, he was a "dangerous felon, high on drugs, driving around with a loaded firearm," Jones said.
"Thanks to the police, another dangerous felon is removed from the streets," she said.
Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza followed a plea agreement between the defense and prosecution in sentencing Naki.
According to court records, Naki has prior convictions for first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia.