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WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — A man who ditched a backpack containing methamphetamine while fleeing from police has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Kainoa Duarte, 43, said in court he had let his addiction take control. He pleaded no contest to second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, The Maui News reported Wednesday.

Police reported finding more than one-eighth ounce of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in the backpack he dropped while fleeing from police in 2016 in Wailuku.

Duarte also pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree theft in another case. He pawned a camera that was among more than $9,000 in belongings stolen from a vehicle that was parked at Lahaina Cannery Mall in September 2015.

Duarte had been in the court system for 10 or 11 years, 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo said Wednesday.

“You’ve had convictions up the yin yang, some very minor, some very major,” Loo said.

Duarte graduated from the Maui Drug Court program of treatment and supervision.

“For way too long, I have let my addiction control my life, telling myself I wasn’t hurting anyone but me,” Duarte said in court. “But that’s not true for the people whose camera I pawned. It’s not true for my family who sit in the gallery and has been affected by my ice addition. They hurt more than I do.”

A plea agreement between the defense and prosecution recommended prison for Duarte.

“I’m not happy to be getting sentenced to prison, but if I wasn’t, right now I’d be on the streets doing the same thing,” he said. “I’ve wasted the first half of my life and missed out on my children’s. I will not take the second half for granted.”

Duarte was ordered to pay $9,445 in restitution.


Information from: The Maui News,