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Drug charges get Waiehu man 18-month jail term

WAILUKU — A Waiehu man is serving an 18-month jail term after he was twice found with drugs when police executed search warrants.

Max Kurpe, 33, also was placed on four years’ probation when he was sentenced last month.

In three criminal cases, he had pleaded no contest to attempted second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, first-degree bail jumping, second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and promoting a controlled substance near a school.

He and his then-girlfriend were arrested June 21, 2019, when police executed search warrants for his residence and she told officers that both of them were selling drugs, police reported.

The two reportedly were found with methamphetamine and heroin a few months later on Oct. 10, 2019, when police executed another search warrant near Lihikai Elementary School in Kahului.

After changing his pleas in the cases, Kurpe was released from jail in August under a Supreme Court order issued to release inmates in certain categories because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was arrested again after not showing up in court for his sentencing date in November.

Kurpe has no significant prior convictions, although he served in the Army but was discharged, apparently because of problems with drug use, said 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill.

He said he was concerned that Kurpe’s mother had been supporting him with money.

“Why is that happening?” Cahill said. “And on top of that, you’re selling drugs, making money. You should be sending the money to her. Tell me why a 33-year-old man, at least before COVID hit, is not working and is taking money from his mom to pay rent.”

Kurpe said it was “selfish.”

Cahill said Kurpe needed to write his mother a long letter, “tell her you’re a criminal, a drug addict, a drug dealer.”

The judge also told Kurpe not to take any money from his mother “unless you’re on a street corner selling pencils and she drops a nickel in the cup and you give her a pencil in return.”

“That’s the only time you’re going to take money from your mom,” Cahill said.

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

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