Man Sentenced to 17 Years for Meth Trafficking on Maui
By Maui Now Staff
A man from Mexico, accused of meth trafficking on Maui was sentenced this week to 17.5 years in prison.
Ruben Settle, 38, was sentenced on Monday, June 29 by Chief District Judge Susan Oki Mollway to 210 months in prison for his role in a plan to distribute methamphetamine on the Island of Maui, according to Justice Department officials.
Settle had previously pleaded guilty on March 12, 2015 to possessing, with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of meth.
Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaiʻi, said the evidence presented in court showed that Settle recruited other individuals to assist him in the distribution, including approximately 700 grams of “ice” that was seized from Settle by Maui police on Dec. 17, 2014.
Maui police say Settle was arrested at around 1:02 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2014 and released pending further investigation for the following charges: (1) first degree methamphetamine trafficking; (2) first degree promotion of a dangerous drug – possession of heroin; (3) third degree promotion of a detrimental drug – possession of marijuana and seeds; (4) third degree promotion of a dangerous drug – possession of crystal methamphetamine; (5) third degree promotion of a dangerous drug – possession of crystal methamphetamine; (6) prohibited acts involving drug paraphernalia -fc; (7) prohibited acts involving drug paraphernalia – fc; (8) prohibited acts involving drug paraphernalia – fc; (9) prohibited acts involving drug paraphernalia – fc.
At the sentencing hearing, the court found that Settle, a citizen of Mexico without legal authority to be in the United States, was a threat to the public safety based on the large amount of methamphetamine involved and an extensive criminal history that included prior drug convictions.
Justice officials say that after completing his sentence, Settle will be deported to Mexico for the second time.
The investigation which resulted in the charges in the case was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations and the Maui Police Department. Prosecution was handled by Assistant US Attorney Mark Inciong.