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Man found with ‘drugs all over his house’ sentenced to jail

WAILUKU — A Kihei man who said he had both used and sold drugs was taken into custody to serve a two-year jail term after police seized heroin, marijuana and cocaine in searches of him and his residence.

The jail term was imposed Wednesday as part of 10 years’ probation for William Key, 43, who was arrested after police executed the search warrants Aug. 3, 2016.

“You hold the key to everything,” 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo said in sentencing Key. “I can put you in the lock position or the open position. I’m putting you in the lock position for two years.”

Key had pleaded no contest to first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, second-degree promotion of a detrimental drug and two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia.

“He’s a drug dealer,” Deputy Prosecutor Joanne Hicks said in arguing for the jail term.

She said police found heroin on Key, as well as in his residence in a nightstand next to a bed and on a coffee table. Police also recovered marijuana, marijuana concentrate, Psilocybin mushrooms, bindles of cocaine, syringes and $1,740 in cash, Hicks said.

“What that amounted to was drugs all over his house,” Hicks said.

When he was arrested, Key told police, “I sell” before refusing to answer additional questions, Hicks said.

Key’s attorney, Chris Dunn, said Key acknowledged ownership of the drugs and told police he had a “debilitating drug problem” while also struggling with homelessness.

Key told police, “In depression, I came to sell some drugs,” Dunn said.

He said Key was in the category of “small time” drug dealers who sell drugs to support their addiction.

Key, who spent one day in jail before posting a bail bond to be released, asked to be spared any additional jail.

In the four and a half years since his arrest, Key had been testing clean and hadn’t been arrested for new offenses, Dunn said.

He said Key “has demonstrated to the court, to the state and to the community that confining him is not necessary for the protection of the general public or to teach him a specific lesson.”

“That lesson has already been learned,” Dunn said.

He said Key has support from friends and family and has been helping raise a child. “That has been a turning point in his life,” Dunn said.

“It’s changed me a lot,” Key said in court. “I want the opportunity to keep doing good and staying on the right track.

“It has been a lifelong struggle with drugs. When the cops arrested me that day, I was out of my mind. I was in real bad shape.”

While following a plea agreement recommending probation for Key, Judge Loo told Key he could have been sentenced to a 20-year prison term for the more than 1 ounce of heroin recovered by police.

“I know you’ve had some success these last four years,” Loo told Key. “You can slip back very, very easily when you hang out with the wrong people. It’s very easy to slip off the wagon and go back into this deep dark hole.”

As part of his sentence, Key was ordered to pay $1,000 in fines and to perform 300 hours of community service.

The cash seized was forfeited to the state.

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

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