Man who broke into police impound lot gets jail sentence

Justin Yamashita, 26, was placed on 4 years’ probation

The Maui News

WAILUKU — A man who burglarized a home and trespassed onto the Maui Police Department impound lot, reportedly to retrieve drugs from his seized vehicle, was sentenced to an 18-month jail term.

Justin Yamashita, 26, was placed on four years’ probation as part of his sentence imposed Oct. 8.

In two criminal cases, Yamashita had pleaded no contest to first-degree burglary, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, tampering with physical evidence, second-degree promoting of a dangerous drug and two counts of third-degree promoting of a dangerous drug.

The prosecution had argued for a 10-year prison term for Yamashita, with Deputy Prosecutor Brandon Segal saying Yamashita had been on a crime spree.

The burglary occurred Nov. 26, 2017, at a residence on Kunu Place in Kahului, according to court records.

Police seized Yamashita’s car on Jan. 8, 2018, after a K-9 alerted police to the odor of narcotics following a traffic stop, according to court records. The next day, he trespassed and entered the vehicle while it was impounded at the Wailuku Police Station and took drugs from the console, according to police. In the vehicle, police reported finding crystal methamphetamine, heroin, oxycodone and morphine pills, as well as drug paraphernalia.

Yamashita was arrested again Jan. 18, 2018, when police executed warrants to search him and his residence. Police reported recovering heroin, methamphetamine, oxycodone pills and drug paraphernalia in the searches.

Deputy Public Defender Zach Raidmae argued for probation for Yamashita, who had burglary and theft charges dismissed when he graduated from the Maui Drug Court program of intensive treatment and supervision.

When he was admitted into Drug Court, Yamashita had struggled with an addiction to opiates, Raidmae said.

After successfully completing the Drug Court program in November 2016, Yamashita began abusing methamphetamine along with opiates, Raidmae said.

Yamashita had been released pending further investigation in his Maui cases when he was arrested for first-degree burglary of a residence Feb. 10, 2018, on Oahu.

In the Oahu case, Yamashita was sentenced in April to an 18-month jail term as part of four years’ probation for the burglary.

Raidmae asked that Yamashita also be placed on probation in the Maui cases.

Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen sentenced Yamashita to four years’ probation and ordered an 18-month jail term, to be served separately from the jail term in his Oahu case.

Yamashita has already spent about 19 months in jail and has another 17 months to serve before he is released, Raidmae said.

Yamashita was ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution in the Maui burglary case.


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