Drugs-over-the-fence case delayed

LIHU‘E — More testimony than the time would allow and some missing footage highlighted an alleged case of drugs-over-the-fence in Lihu‘e Courthouse Monday.

The felony drug case against Michael Glenn Sullivan and Rolando Alegado Agustin has been slowed by hearing testimony. The Oct. 3 trial date is now pushed back to Jan. 23.

Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe said Monday that the logistical issues of getting all the witness testimony and accommodating full days of hearings against the regular court schedule meant having to push the court date into next year.

After a half morning and full afternoon of testimony from Kaua‘i Police Department Officer Arnold Cayabyab, the remaining witnesses, KPD Sgt. Darren Rose, and employees of The Gas Company and Young Brothers were told they would need to return for another Oct. 27 hearing. Four witnesses testified at a hearing last month.

The case is against Michael Glenn Sullivan, 39, and Rolando Alegado Agustin, 41, both of Lihu‘e. Following a three-year KPD investigation, the two men were arrested Apr. 6, 2010, after police allegedly observed a bag toss over a fence that contained $1,144 in cash and $20,000 worth of cocaine.

Sullivan, an employee of Young Brothers, an inter-island shipping company with a port at Nawiliwili Harbor, is accused of taking hidden drugs from a barge and throwing them over a fence to Agustin, an employee of The Gas Company. Both men on June 29, 2010, pleaded not guilty.

Deputy Prosecutor Samuel Jajich worked to show Cayabyab is a certified K9 handler and a seasoned narcotics officer with more than 10 years of service in Honolulu and on Kaua‘i. He has been the KPD’s K9 handler since 2008 with his dog Simon.

Michael Green, an attorney for Sullivan, along with Michael Soong and June Ikemoto, attorneys for Agustin, pointed out the inconsistencies in seizure and alert logs that are sometimes used for warrants.

They also questioned Cayabyab about his dual role as an investigator and crime photographer on the case, with the lack of photo evidence of the source of the drug discovery.

They pointed out that one of the two K9 certifications was not held at the time of the dog’s alert to an odor from a state Department of Land and Natural Resources vehicle. It was ‘sniffed’ after arriving through Young Brothers in March 2010 and used as evidence for a warrant.

Cayabyab testified that the dog is recertified annually and continues to test 100 percent as a passive alert dog for methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and marijuana.

Green produced a letter from IT Kaua‘i, Inc., which states the copy of the video tape recording of the alleged illegal activity is missing 27 seconds in the middle of the video. Judge Watanabe allowed his request to not have the video shown until further study can determine if it can be used as evidence.

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