LIHUE — A man police say was in possession of a package of Schedule 1 drugs was sentenced Wednesday to four years probation and community service.
“I’ve realized how my decisions and choices was disrespectful,” said Donovan Cameron-Ray. “Since getting arrested, I’ve worked to better my life.”
Cameron-Ray, 23, was arrested in May 2016 after a postal inspector alerted Kauai police of a parcel containing drugs that was set to be delivered to a home on Olohena Road.
Police say he later received the package at his home and had it in his possession when stopped by police.
Cameron-Ray was arrested on six drug charges: Promoting a dangerous drug 2, three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, promoting a harmful drug in the third degree and promoting a dangerous drug in the third degree.
As part of a plea agreement, four of those charges were dismissed.
On Wednesday, Cameron-Ray appeared before Judge Kathleen Watanabe on charges of promoting a dangerous drug 2 and promoting a harmful drug in the third degree, after pleading no contest in April.
“He’s a good kid. He’s been working since he was 15,” said Victor Bakke, his attorney. “He picked up some stuff for a friend. He used really bad judgment. He knew what he was doing.”
That error in judgment will stay with him the rest of his life, Bakke said.
“He was ready to join the Coast Guard. Then this happened,” he said. “He’s going to have a criminal record that is going to follow him.”
Since the arrest, Cameron-Ray got a job in construction, where he is making $20 an hour, Bakke added.
He asked that Watanabe follow the plea agreement, which was probation.
“Any substantive jail time is not going to serve him,” he said. “Jail does nothing. Community service … there are things we can do, but it’s got to be productive, not destructive.”
Police say that when Cameron-Ray was arrested, he was carrying 198 Ecstasy pills, 300 Xanax bars and 2.6 grams of cocaine.
The total estimated street value of the items seized by the Kauai Police Department is $5,250.
“There were 500 dosages. The drugs weren’t meant just for a friend. They were meant for distribution,” said Tim Tate, deputy prosecuting attorney.
The friend who sent the drugs to Cameron-Ray was a disc jockey in Washington State, Tate added.
Tate asked that he be sentenced to six months in jail.
“There was a serious amount of drugs,” he said.
During the proceedings, Bakke reiterated how young Cameron-Ray is.
“He was 22 at the time. He’s young,” he said. “There is a youthful-offender statue because the law recognizes that between the ages of 18 and 22, people are still in a vulnerable state.”
It was a point Watanabe acknowledged, but said he is responsible for his actions.
“Your attorney has acknowledged your young age. But you’re an adult, and you’re being sentenced as an adult,” she said.
In addition to serving four years of probation, Cameron-Ray is also expected to complete 600 hours of community service, to be done by 2021.
“You should give back to the community for the risk you put the community in,” Watanabe said.