Woman gets 6 months for importing illegal fireworks


POSTED: Thursday, January 21, 2010

A federal judge sentenced a 34-year-old woman to six months in prison today for trying to import more than 4 tons of illegal aerial fireworks and then lying to federal agents about it.

Christina Everett, who pleaded guilty Sept. 29 to the charge of importing explosive material without license, could have gotten 15 months in prison.

In 2007, Everett attempted to import 9,000 pounds of aerial fireworks into Hawaii without a license or a place to store them.

When federal agents questioned her about it, she told them she had an agreement with Mayor Mufi Hannemann and a state senator for the fireworks to be used in a fireworks show, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren Ching.

The mayor’s office said the office never spoke with Everett, said District Judge Susan Mollway.

Ching requested Everett serve 15 months because she lied to federal agents after she was caught.

“She’s a minister,” he said. “That concerns me ... ministering to others and still lies when she feels its convenient.”

Instead, Mollway sentenced Everett to 6 months, saying she showed she was trying to turn her life around with a regular job and complying with her bail.

“I’m scared,” Everett told the judge before her sentencing. “I don’t know what’s going to take place, who’s going to take care of my 6-year-old.”

Everett is a minister with the Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center that will be built in Leeward Oahu.

“She’s an excellent employee,” Brom Begonia, Everett’s boss at the Kroc Center, told Mollway.