Drug dealer receives 10 years

LIHUE — A Kilauea woman convicted of keeping dealer amounts of methamphetamine and possessing loaded firearms will serve a decade behind bars.

Bridget Maile Lanning, 45, was sentenced to 10 years for possessing a pistol or revolver, and second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.

She was also sentenced to a concurrent five-year prison term for unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle Wednesday in 5th Circuit Court.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe said the combination of large amounts of drugs and a loaded firearm made any argument in her favor moot.

“That is the worst possible combination,” Watanabe said. “That is a recipe for disaster, no matter how you put it.”

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Winn said that police arrested Lanning on a warrant at the Kilauea Menehune Mart on Oct. 17, 2013. Upon her arrest, officers recovered a loaded semi-automatic pistol within arms reach and 7.5 grams of methamphetamine.

“That is two times the amount needed to prosecute a B felony charge,” Winn said.

In the unauthorized entry of a vehicle charge, Lanning, whom the county referred to as a “known drug dealer,” and a co-defendant had an altercation with a victim over a fur coat. 

Although not directly involved, Lanning participated in the violence against the victim, Winn said.

Court-appointed defense attorney Warren Perry asked the court to consider that this was Lanning’s first felony conviction.

She had priors that included contempt of court, failure to appear and marijuana possession, he said, and so there should be an appropriate middle ground to include probation with some jail time.

“Give her the opportunity to make the lifestyle change that she needs,” Perry said.

Winn disagreed, and said the defendant hadn’t shown remorse and arranged for letters of support from people who weren’t credible.

They gave the appearance that they viewed the criminal justice system as a game and the people who work in it as fools.

“The open 10-year term is appropriate in this case,” Winn said.

Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar agreed with the judge’s decision.

“Crystal meth is destroying so many young lives,”  he said. “Ms. Lanning in particular has a lengthy history of creating problems for this community and we are satisfied that she will be in prison for a long time.”


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