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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Court briefs

Advertiser Staff

Drug ringleader gets 40-year term

A 40-year-old Wahiawa man described by prosecutors as a drug ringleader was sentenced in federal court yesterday to 40 years in prison.

Packward K Toelupe, also known as "Pupi," was sentenced by visiting U.S. District Judge Robert Jones after being found guilty of five methamphetamine trafficking offenses. Federal agents seized about 26 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, valued at $3.5 million from a Pearl City storage locker, as well as firearms and more ice from Toelupe's home, said U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo.

Kubo said Toelupe was the organizer and leader of a large-scale drug distribution organization. Jones ordered Toelupe to serve his sentence at a high-security prison in Colorado.

Man pleads guilty in death of son

A man who was indicted by an O'ahu grand jury on second-degree murder charges in December 2001 in connection with the 1995 death of his 3-year-old son pleaded guilty yesterday to manslaughter.

According to the terms of an agreement with prosecutors, Raymon Herring, 50, will likely be placed on probation when he is sentenced May 27.

Jacob Herring-Kamaka had been staying with Herring, at a home on Wai'anae Valley Road when he was taken to the Wai'anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.

The boy was transferred to Kapi'olani Medical Center and died two days later. The medical examiner concluded that death was caused by blunt-force trauma to the head.

The Herring case was one of several child deaths brought to the attention of Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle shortly after Carlisle was elected to office. Based on a review of the case by specialists in the study of child deaths, the indictment was sought against the boy's father.

Ex-bank executive admits to assaults

A former bank executive admitted yesterday that he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl at his downtown Honolulu apartment in June 2002.

Alfred Robert Gross, 68, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree and two counts of second-degree sexual assault.

At the time he was indicted, police said Gross' wife had struck up a friendship with the girl while both were doing volunteer work for a nonprofit agency. They said the wife asked the girl if she wanted to earn some money by doing chores at the Gross' Honolulu Tower apartment at 60 N. Beretania St., and the girl agreed.

Gross was working for First Hawaiian Bank when the offenses occurred, but has since retired, prosecutors said.

According to the terms of an agreement with prosecutors, Gross will be sentenced to five years probation and will be ordered to pay for the costs of the girl's therapy when he is sentenced by Circuit Judge Marie Milks on May 27.