Nawiliwili drug-trafficking case dismissed

Tom LaVenture

The Garden Island

LIHU‘E — The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney was denied a  request to continue the trial date to file an appeal in a first-degree drug case.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe of the 5th Circuit, after signing defense attorney orders to suppress evidence and statements on April 10, on Monday denied a request to continue on what would have been the trial date  in the first-degree drug case of Michael Sullivan and Rolando Agustin.

County Second Deputy Prosecutor John Murphy, standing in for Second Deputy Prosecutor Samuel Jajich, said the state would be filing an appeal to the court’s ruling to suppress on Tuesday. He requested a continuance of the matter and added that the trial would not have started Monday as scheduled.

Attorneys June Ikemoto, representing Sullivan, and Michael Soong, representing Agustin, objected to the request, saying that the suppression order did not leave enough evidence for the state to prosecute the case.

Watanabe said the prosecutor at the April 18 pre-trial hearing said that the appeals had already been filed. At this point she said there have been no appeal notices sent to her office.

The judge then dismissed the case and released both Sullivan and Agustin from court proceedings. Court records note the case was dismissed without prejudice — meaning that it is possible for charges to be filed again for the same matter in the future.

The suppression order followed a year of 11 hearings that concluded in late February. The defense won its battle on the credibility of witnesses and a confidential source that was used to gain search warrants.

The case was the result of a lengthy police investigation of passing drugs trafficked through Young Brothers and The Gas Company at Nawiliwili.

The two had been 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.

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