Ex-HPU athlete admits holding Ecstasy pills
A former Hawaii Pacific University softball standout has admitted to possessing with intent to distribute nearly 200 Ecstasy pills in January.
Kellie A. Nishikida, 20, of Pearl City appeared in U.S. District Court yesterday and entered into a plea agreement in which she pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 190 pills on Jan. 13 and 14.
In exchange, the U.S. Attorney's Office has agreed not to prosecute her for any additional charges that could arise from the incident, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabriel Colwell.
Nishikida has agreed to fully cooperate in the investigation and testify if necessary for the government.
Nishikida was one of four acquaintances arrested earlier this year, accused of being a part of a drug ring that sold the mood-enhancing drug Ecstasy at Schofield Barracks.
During questioning yesterday by U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright, Nishikida admitted she sold 110 Ecstasy pills on Jan. 13 to two acquaintances for $1,650. She also arranged to meet with another acquaintance the following day at the Pearl City Wal-Mart to sell an additional 60 pills for $1,000. Federal agents arrested her in the parking lot and recovered 80 Ecstasy pills from her.
Nishikida faces maximum penalties of 20 years' incarceration, up to $1 million in fines and supervised release from three years to life when sentenced Sept. 10.
Defense attorney Howard Luke said they will ask for as low a sentence as possible given her youth and her clean record until now. "She's already suffered quite a bit," he said.
Nishikida, who batted .367 as a freshman on the HPU softball team in 2005 and was named to the Pacific West all-conference first team, is no longer in school and can no longer play ball, said Luke. "We're hopeful she will be able to go back to school and get all the benefits she enjoyed before her arrest."
Ecstasy has been a problem, but youths perceive the drug as not as serious as the government makes it out to be, Luke said. However, possession of Ecstasy, which is similar to methamphetamine, is a serious felony, and the government prosecutes these cases without much leniency, he said.
Nishikida, clad in jeans and hooded sweatshirt, declined to comment as she left the courthouse.