WAILUKU - A man who admitted selling drugs but said he wasn't a "big fish" when police found methamphetamine, steroids and other drugs in a search of a Wailuku storage locker was sentenced to a 10-year prison term.
Adam Evert, 32, was ordered to serve at least four years of the term before being eligible for parole, based on his conviction for second-degree methamphetamine trafficking.
"With the amount of drugs and steroids and pills and paraphernalia you had in the storage locker, you were basically running your own pharmacy," 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo told Evert on Feb. 21.
In addition to the reduced charge of second-degree methamphetamine trafficking, he had pleaded no contest to three counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, four reduced counts of second-degree promotion of a harmful drug, second-degree promotion of a harmful drug and second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.
The drugs were found Feb. 12, 2013, after a police vice K9 dog alerted to a unit at Wailuku Self Storage, said Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones.
While police were applying for a search warrant for the storage locker, Evert and another man showed up, Jones said. She said Evert gave police the combination for the locker and told officers there were drugs inside.
Police found 100 grams of methamphetamine, one-eighth ounce of cocaine and hundreds of pills or dosage units of a variety of steroids, Jones said.
She said Evert reported relapsing shortly after he graduated from the Maui Drug Court program of treatment and supervision in July 2011.
"Within a year or so, he's back in the game, and this time he's in over his head," Jones said.
When he was arrested last year, Evert got upset with officers, telling them they shouldn't be spending time investigating him because "there's bigger fish than me," Jones said.
She said Evert told police that "the drug problem's not getting any better, so I'd rather be part of the people making money."
Defense attorney Cary Virtue said Evert was high when he made the comments.
"He's had a lot of time to think about that and regrets his actions," Virtue said.
In a letter to the court, Evert said: "I will never get back the time wasted and lost due to my illegal choices. Not a day goes by that I don't hurt for and regret what I've done to my son, family and the community."
Loo said she didn't understand how someone who graduated from Drug Court would start abusing alcohol the day of his graduation, then begin abusing drugs shortly afterward.
She noted that within less than two years of his graduation, Evert was arrested on the 17 drug charges. Six of the charges were dismissed as part of Evert's plea agreement with the prosecution.
"Your comments to the police really bothered me," Loo told Evert. "You were still selling to people, people that live in this community, your neighbors, my neighbors, people driving on the roadway.
"When you hook the big ulua, you got to hook the bait first."
In another sentencing Friday, a 59-year-old Paia woman was given a chance to keep a drug conviction off her record if she follows court requirements while being supervised for five years.
Estrellita Newton had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug in connection with her arrest Oct. 13, 2009, at her residence on Haawina Street.
Police vice officers, who had a search warrant for Newton, reported finding 49.67 grams of methamphetamine in her purse.
Newton was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.