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Woman serving year in jail for drug possession

WAILUKU — After not complying with requirements when given chances to be released on supervision, a Kahului woman is serving a one-year jail term for drug possession.

Marlene Pacheco, 33, could be released from jail after six months if she is accepted into a long-term residential treatment program.

Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo imposed the jail term as part of four years’ probation May 28. She noted a report described Pacheco’s compliance while on supervision as “not very — not very, very — but very, very, very poor.”

“Normally good things come in threes — combo meals, the Jonas Brothers, fairy godmothers,” Loo told Pacheco. “But in your case, not so much.”

Pacheco had pleaded no contest to third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, with other charges dismissed in exchange for her plea.

She was arrested Sept. 30, 2019, when she was a passenger in a car when police officers said they were looking for someone else sought on a bench warrant, said her attorney, Jon Apo. He said police found Pacheco, “this low-hanging fruit in the passenger seat with some methamphetamines in the car.”

“We’re looking at a bona fide low-level drug user,” he said. “She needs help.”

Pacheco was temporarily released on supervision in the pandemic in August, then didn’t show up for a court hearing in December, according to court records. She was arrested in February and was again released on supervision March 5 when she changed her plea in the case.

A bench warrant for her arrest was issued April 7 after she didn’t contact a probation officer to provide information for her sentencing and didn’t check in to be supervised, said Deputy Prosecutor Joanne Hicks.

“She clearly has an addiction issue,” Hicks said. “The state wants to help the defendant. Sometimes the help we offer is not the help she wants.”

Pacheco acknowledged that she “messed up.”

“This is the first time I’ve ever been in trouble,” she said.

She didn’t have a phone and didn’t understand what she was supposed to do when she was released.

“Would it have been better if I kept you in and not released you?” Judge Loo asked.

“If I had more help to get into treatment, maybe,” Pacheco replied.

“You can point fingers at everybody else,” Loo told Pacheco. “But ultimately, you point one finger out, three fingers are pointing back at you.”

Pacheco was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

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

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