East Hawaii News

Christies Scheduled to Enter Guilty Pleas Friday

September 25, 2013, 10:31 AM HST
* Updated January 22, 2:37 PM
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Big Island cannabis minister Roger Christie and his wife, Sherryanne “Share” Christie, have apparently entered into a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Both are scheduled to appear Friday morning before US District Judge Richard Puglisi for change of plea hearings.

It was not immediately clear to what charge or charges the two will plead.

The move may have been prompted by a court ruling last week denying Christie’s efforts to present a defense of “entrapment by estoppel.” Such a defense means a defendant believes he or she was misled by the government into believing his or her conduct was legal.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled that the Christies could not use a religious defense against the charges filed following their 2010 arrest on federal drug charges.

Along with the change-of-plea hearings set for Friday, the federal court calendar also shows that a conference set for Thursday, Oct. 3, to prepare for the Christies’ Oct. 8 trial, has been cancelled.

Share Christie currently faces four counts of distributing marijuana, two counts of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and a single count of manufacturing marijuana.

Roger Christie faces the same charges as well as an additional count of distributing and a count of failing to file income tax returns.

Of the 10 others arrested with the Christies in the raids on the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, eight have already struck plea deals with prosecutors which resulted in guilty pleas. Most involved pleas to single counts of either trafficking in marijuana or conspiracy to distributing marijuana.

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