Prosecutors frustrated as career criminal arrested with more than $1.5M in warrants

Amery Kahale-Sugimura

We’re learning more about the arrest of a career criminal known by law enforcement as the “Gingerbread Man.”

Honolulu police, with the help of U.S. Marshals and the SWAT team, arrested Amery Kahale-Sugimura, 38, Thursday night at a home on Wehiwehi Street in Waianae.

He was wanted for violating conditions of his supervised release, which resulted in more than $1.53 million in outstanding warrants.

Kahale-Sugimura is no stranger to the system with 20 prior convictions.

In 2016, he was arrested for car theft and a drug offense. In 2015, he was arrested after being caught on a stolen motorcycle, and two years before that, in 2013, he led Honolulu police on a wild chase near Alvah Scott Elementary School and was arrested for robbery and assaulting a police officer. Police ended up shooting him several times.

So why was he out to begin with?

KHON2 learned he pleaded guilty in January to five counts, including auto theft and drug charges. A judge granted him supervised release.

“The defense attorney said, ‘Give him a chance. Give him a chance at Habilitat, at drug treatment,’ and so the judge gave him a chance,” said deputy prosecutor Scott Spallina. “It’s a program we didn’t think was appropriate. It’s a program we thought it was too late for, and so we objected strongly. We pointed out his records. We pointed out the facts of his previous cases.”

Spallina told KHON2 that Kahale-Sugimura was supposed to be awaiting sentencing while at the residential treatment center, but he didn’t stay long.

“He was released into a residential facility where he was going to check in, do process, do all the therapies all the sessions, and stay there building up a track record prior to his sentencing,” Spallina said. “He went to Habilitat. I believe he went to the reception area and then he walked away. He sees a friend of his over there, and then the two of them leave.”

We wanted to know, after all of this, could Kahale-Sugimura be released again? The answer is yes.

“He has the constitutional right to be released once he posts his bail,” Spallina said. “We have an opportunity to file a motion to have him held without bail given the seriousness of these crimes.”

The prosecutor’s office plans to file that motion next week. Spallina said the situation is frustrating.

“It took us from 2013 to get to where we are now,” he said. “For all those victims in all those cases, all those years waiting for a resolution, now we’re ready to finally get to the sentencing and we can finally put this to the side and then he does something like this.”

Kahale-Sugimura is facing 20 years for the charges he pleaded guilty to in January.

His next court date is scheduled for March 6.

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