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Two-year jail sentence imposed for man found with drugs, handgun

The Maui News

WAILUKU — A man who was arrested with nearly 3.5 pounds of methamphetamine, a quarter-pound of heroin and a handgun was sentenced to two years in jail.

Second Circuit Judge Peter Cahill imposed the jail term as part of 10 years’ probation for Kyle Keahi, 35, when he was sentenced June 14.

“The amount of drugs that they caught you with — you harmed everybody, yourself first and all the rest of the people behind you,” Cahill said, referring to friends and family members who filled the courtroom gallery for the hearing.

He told Keahi he would face consecutive prison terms of 25 years if he doesn’t comply with requirements of his probation. “The first positive drug test, it’s not going to be you get a pass — you’re going to prison,” Cahill said.

Keahi had pleaded guilty to first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He was charged after police executed search warrants for him, his residence in Waihee and a vehicle on Dec. 10, 2018. Police reported seizing about 3.4 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 4.5 ounces of heroin, a 9 mm pistol, ammunition, cash and drug paraphernalia.

At the hearing June 14, Deputy Prosecutor Mike Kagami asked that Keahi be sentenced to prison.

Keahi “has had ample opportunity to rehabilitate himself to become a law-abiding citizen,” Kagami said. “He has just failed to do so.”

Keahi was on probation in two prior drug cases and had his probation revoked before he was given a last chance in the Maui Drug Court program of treatment and supervision, according to court records.

He graduated from the program in November 2017, about a year before he was arrested in his latest case, Kagami said.

“He graduated from being a mere user” to selling drugs, Kagami said.

Along with the drugs, police reported finding cash, numerous scales and plastic packets.

“He possessed gallon-sized Ziploc bags,” Kagami said.

Keahi spent several months in jail before being released on bail in December 2019.

He had been working and helping others, said his attorney, Michael Green.

“It’s a serious drug,” Green said. “He’s worked really hard to try to get better. I’ve seen the change in him.”

Green said Keahi had been doing well after Drug Court. Then, “he met the wrong people, got involved in holding drugs for other people,” Green said.

“There’s no question he was addicted. There’s no question that addiction led to other things. He knows it’s a reckoning for what happened.”

When Judge Cahill asked Green what mandatory minimum sentence he thought the parole board would set if Keahi were sentenced to prison, Green said “the level of drugs here could drive this up to maybe five or six years” instead of three to five years.

“I just want to apologize to my family for putting them through this and to the community for any harm I may have caused through my addiction,” Keahi said.

In sentencing Keahi to probation, Judge Cahill ordered the defendant not to possess or consume illegal drugs and not to be with people abusing drugs.

He was ordered to pay a fine of $13,970, which was the amount of cash seized in the raid.

“I truly believe your merciful sentence is well placed,” Green said after the sentence was imposed. “If he gets in trouble again — Kyle, don’t call me.”

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