Roger Christie, founder of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, was denied bail July 16 by US District Judge Alan Kay in Honolulu. Kay noted allegations that Christie, 61, continued operating what prosecutors are calling his marijuana distribution ring from jail.
Federal searches of Christie's home in Hilo turned up cannabis in both March and early July. Christie and 13 others were arrested in the second raid on July 8. A grand jury had indicted them in June, but the charges were sealed until after the arrests. Federal authorities say the arrests have put a major dent in the Big Island's marijuana trade.
US Attorney Michael Kawahara, arguing against bail or a halfway house program for Christie while he fights the charges of cannabis growing and distribution, said "Mr. Christie...genuinely believes himself to be above the law." (Honolulu Star Advertiser, July 16)