Former officer gets 28 months in plea agreement
An ex-Honolulu police officer, arrested last year for accepting $1,000 to provide protection for a methamphetamine transaction, was sentenced yesterday to 2 1/3 years' federal imprisonment on lesser weapons charges.
James Leslie Corn Jr. accepted a plea agreement, pleading guilty to two counts of possessing a firearm as a user of an illegal drug. The weapons in both cases were unregistered.
The plea deal dropped the charge of possession with the intent to distribute as an aider or abettor 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, which carries a possible 10-year sentence.
One of the firearms charges stems from Corn, an admitted cocaine addict, selling a .32-caliber pistol in February 2005 to an undercover officer he believed to be a criminal trafficking narcotics, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Brady said.
The other charge resulted from a handgun being found in Corn's car on Aug. 25, 2005, after officers arrested him for accepting $1,000 from an undercover officer posing as a drug dealer, Brady said.
The money was paid for supplying protection during what Corn believed to be an "ice" transaction at Starbucks in Ward Centre moments earlier.
Corn, with 4 1/2 years of service, left the Honolulu Police Department in August.
Corn is scheduled for trial Wednesday in Circuit Court in an unrelated matter on a first-degree terroristic threatening charge for allegedly threatening to kill the owner of a Waipahu tire store Feb. 21, 2005, in a dispute over a tire.
U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor sentenced Corn to 28 months, rather than the 10 to 16 months outlined in the federal sentencing guidelines, and three years' supervised release.
Brady said he asked the court to consider "the totality of the circumstances and abuse of trust associated with his conduct."
Brady would not disclose publicly the reasons for the plea agreement.
Corn's lawyer, federal public defender Pamela Byrne, said, "We started facing 10 (years) to life, so a 28-month sentence, although more than we wanted, is acceptable to the family and seems reasonable."
Corn's fiancee, his 17-month-old son, parents and grandmother were present for the sentencing, she said.
Corn, who has been in an inpatient drug treatment program for the last half-year, said he wanted to apologize to the community and was very remorseful, Byrne said.
Friday, November 10, 2006
» James Leslie Corn Jr., a former Honolulu police officer, was sentenced to 28 months in jail after pleading guilty in a plea deal. A Page A9 headline in yesterday's early edition incorrectly said the sentence came as part of a trial.