Friday, August 22, 2003

Big Isle man admits part
in busted ‘ice’ shipment

A Kurtistown, Hawaii, man has admitted to accepting delivery of a vacuum cleaner containing nearly 10 pounds of "ice" two years ago.

Mark Dayton pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court to attempted possession with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine and unregistered possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

Dayton admitted yesterday that he had been expecting the Federal Express package and was going to be paid for it. But he did not name to whom he was to deliver it.

According to court documents, authorities had earlier intercepted the package on the mainland. The package allegedly came from a Rialto, Calif., address and was addressed to Bukaz Buggies in Kurtistown. The drugs were removed and substituted with a pseudo drug before it was resealed and delivered to Dayton by an undercover officer.

According to court documents, Dayton drove around Mountain View and Volcano for about an hour before being arrested on the Belt Highway Aug. 23, 2001, while on his way to deliver the "ice" to another person, whom he would not name.

After his arrest, he told federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents he knew the package contained ice. He said he had accepted a delivery of two boxes two months earlier and was paid $3,000, according to court documents. He also said he started using drugs four months earlier.

Michael Kawahara, assistant U.S. attorney, said Dayton faces between 10 years and life in federal prison but probably would get a sentence at the lower end.

Dayton's public defender could not be reached for comment.


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