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Officer describes items found in hotel room

WAILUKU — Police recovered two loaded firearms, drugs and cash after a police narcotics dog alerted them to a suspect’s backpack and a Kaanapali hotel room safe, a police officer testified.

Police obtained search warrants for the backpack that James Shamblin was carrying and for the safe before both were searched Oct. 26, said officer Justin Carlson.

Testifying Thursday at a preliminary hearing for Shamblin, Carlson said that the backpack contained a Colt .45-caliber pistol with six rounds of ammunition, 17.01 grams of methamphetamine, five acetaminophen or hydrocodone pills, two glass pipes containing crystal methamphetamine residue and cash.

In the safe at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel room registered to Shamblin, police found a Hi-Point Firearms pistol with seven rounds of .380-caliber ammunition in the magazine, as well as more methamphetamine, Carlson said.

He said that the total amount of methamphetamine from the safe and backpack was 51.93 grams, which is more than the 1.5-ounce threshold for a charge of first-degree promoting of a dangerous drug.

Carlson said Shamblin had checked out of the room before it was searched. Hotel housekeeping employees were the only ones who had been in the room before it was secured by police, Carlson said.

Police had been called to the hotel at about 11 a.m. that day to investigate a possible domestic violence report involving Shamblin’s minor daughter, who was staying in the room. After learning the room was registered to Shamblin, officers waited for him to return to arrest him on two warrants, police said.

Defense attorney John Parker said nothing was found in either the backpack or safe to link them to Shamblin.

Based on Carlson’s testimony and evidence submitted by the prosecution, District Judge Adrianne Heely found there was probable cause for the charges against Shamblin.

He is charged with first-degree promoting a dangerous drug, third-degree promoting a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia, two counts of prohibited possession of a firearm, two counts of prohibited possession of firearm ammunition, keeping a pistol or revolver in an improper place, keeping ammunition in an improper place and second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

Shamblin is also charged with two counts of prohibited possession of a firearm or ammunition under federal law that applies to a felon or drug user or addict possessing a firearm or ammunition transported across state lines.

Bail for Shamblin, 46, of Kihei was set at $336,000.

Deputy Prosecutor Lewis Littlepage said Shamblin has 51 prior felony convictions, in addition to 25 misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor convictions.

“He is a danger to the community,” Littlepage said.

He said Shamblin is also a flight risk because he faces mandatory-minimum sentencing if convicted of felony charges.

Shamblin is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 21 in 2nd Circuit Court.

His prior criminal record includes multiple convictions for first-degree burglary, second-degree theft, theft of a credit card, fraudulent use of a credit card. He also has convictions for first-degree theft and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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