Judge suppresses evidence in drug case

LIHU‘E — A 5th Circuit judge has granted motions to suppress evidence and statements that ends a first-degree drug case against two defendants.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe signed the orders in the first-degree drug case of Michael Sullivan and co-defendant Rolando Agustin.

County Second Deputy Prosecutor Samuel Jajich said that accepting the orders of the defendants and rejecting the state’s order is effectively granting the motion. The state has filed its notice to appeal, and the case is essentially on hold, he added.

A year of 11 hearings related to a motion to suppress concluded in late February, and the jury trial was scheduled to begin on May 7. Attorneys Michael Jay Green and June Ikemoto represented Sullivan, and Michael Soong represented Agustin.

Green said the decision came down to the credibility of witnesses. When the judge decided to suppress, that left no evidence to sustain charges. Green questioned the credibility of a confidential source that was central to gaining search warrants. He said the information did not receive a factual corroboration with other sources.

The defendants pleaded not guilty on June 29, 2010. They were charged with felony first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, seven counts of second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and seven counts of drug paraphernalia.

• Tom LaVenture, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or tlaventure@thegardenisland.com.

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