LIHUE — A Hanamaulu man who has accumulated 30 convictions over 20 years was sent to prison again for a methamphetamine charge on Wednesday in 5th Circuit Court.
Gilbert Estenzo Dejos, 41, told the court he is getting older and doesn’t want to live the life he’s led for the past two decades.
He asked the court to consider how well he has been doing this past year and allow him to continue improving and become a good member of the community.
“I know that I have an extensive record, but I have really made some dumb choices in my life,” Dejos said. “I want to commit my life to doing the right things now.”
The felony information complaint states Dejos was found in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia on Aug. 13, 2013.
Dejos pleaded no contest to third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug on May 5. The remaining three charges of unlawful use of drug paraphernalia were dismissed.
State Deputy Public Defender Samuel Jajich portrayed Dejos as a cyclical inmate who, after getting a prison term at age 22, was then sentenced to prison again for failing probation.
The underlying issue is a serious addiction and Dejos has never had the opportunity to seriously deal with it, he added.
“He has been addicted to meth since he was 15,” Jajich said.
Jajich also took issue with the description of Dejos as a violent offender, which would disqualify him from being sentenced to probation as a second-time drug offender.
The convictions don’t show a pattern and although there was an altercation at the jail, the other inmate had a violent past and threw the first punch, he added.
County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Winn said the state would ask for the open prison term. The defendant has served multiple prison terms and has failed at both parole and probation, she added.
Judge Kathleen Watanabe said Dejos’ convictions run the gamut of crimes against person, property and drugs. The court determined that Dejos couldn’t be considered a non-violent offender based on that criminal history, she added.
The court also noted that Dejos once attended an inpatient drug treatment facility but was discharged after three weeks for relapsing and using drugs.
Given the seriousness of the new charges, Watanabe said the court had no option but to sentence Dejos to five years in prison with credit for time already served.
“This defendant has had so many chances,” said Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar. “It is unfortunate to see him cycling through the system again, but until he decides to change his life once and for all, we fear this pattern will continue.”