4 members of alleged drug ring released
The four, which include an HPU athlete, must wear monitoring devices
A federal magistrate judge released four members of an alleged Ecstasy drug ring including Hawaii Pacific University softball player Kellie Nishikida yesterday in lieu of a $25,000 signature bond.
All four will also have to wear electronic monitoring bracelets and were ordered to stay away from Schofield Barracks.
Nishikida, 20, was charged earlier this week with conspiring with three other acquaintances to possess Ecstasy with intent to distribute it at Schofield Barracks.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren ordered that Nishikida remain under the custody of her parents and under house arrest with curfew restrictions. She was ordered to continue school or seek work.
If possible, she wants to continue her schooling, but her chance of playing softball again for HPU will not be up to her, defense attorney Randy Oyama said. She was to start her junior year at HPU this year, and the softball season is expected to start soon. Her status with the team is uncertain at this point.
The electronic-monitoring requirement will be suspended while Nishikida is on a mainland trip with her family during the latter part of this month.
Nishikida was arrested last Saturday and had been in federal custody since. Her release was delayed for a day after the courthouse was shut down Thursday because of a reported chemical threat that turned out to be false.
During court proceedings yesterday, Nishikida sat with her eyes downcast and rarely glanced at the gallery, packed with relatives and friends.
The past few days have been a trying experience for Nishikida and her family, who have come under the media spotlight after reporting her missing. Her family initially had no idea she had been arrested. This is her first involvement with the law, Oyama said.
Because she is an athlete, Nishikida has received disparate treatment compared with her co-defendants, he said. "Unfortunately for her, she's 20 years old, she's made a mistake if the allegations are true and this will have a tremendous effect on her life."
Nishikida was arrested in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Pearl City, where she had gone to sell Ecstasy to an acquaintance, Krystle Kido. Unbeknownst to Nishikida, Kido had been arrested earlier at a Schofield Barracks shoppette along with another acquaintance, Natasha Hanson, after selling Ecstasy to an undercover investigator.
Kido told investigators she got the Ecstasy from Nishikida and was supposed to sell more of the drug to another acquaintance, Jade Dixon, who was to resell the drug to Schofield soldiers.
The four are expected back in court on Feb. 5 for a preliminary hearing.