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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kona ice dealer gets 46-year sentence

By Chelsea Jensen
West Hawaii Today

A 28-year-old Kailua, Kona, man was sentenced Monday to serve a minimum six years of a 46-year jail sentence for his role in trafficking crystal methamphetamine on the Big Island.

"You don't know the size of the boulder that was dumped on our society by you, and it has huge ripple effects that permeate every fiber of our community," 3rd Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Strance said. "The damage that you've done to this community because of your actions is just so significant."

Darren Kaeleukekahi Ching pleaded guilty Feb. 1 to reduced charges of first-degree methamphetamine trafficking, first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, second-degree theft and second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor about four months after a grand jury indicted Ching, and his wife, Cherlynne Ching, on two dozen felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from an Aug. 5 arrest.

He must also pay $7,570 in fines and fees.

Strance rejected Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dale Yamada Ross' request that Ching receive the maximum eight-year mandatory jail sentence for the methamphetamine trafficking charge. Strance also denied Ching's attorney, John Olson's, request that Ching receive the minimum two-year mandatory sentence.

The Chings were arrested following a police search of their Ahulani Street rented home where they lived with their son, who was subsequently turned over to Child Protective Services.

Police said they confiscated 7 pounds of cocaine, 10 ounces of crystal methamphetamine, a half-ounce of crack cocaine and other drugs and items valued at more than $222,000.

Cherlynne Ching was sentenced March 22 to two years in jail, 16 years probation and 200 hours community service and ordered to pay $6,715 in fines and fees.