It wasn’t a normal day at the federal courthouse as a man who was sentenced in court this afternoon was also married by the Chief Judge following the hearing.
40-year-old Joshua Untalan Mesa ran from authorities and attempted to hide in a tree to prevent capture. He was on the hook for a package containing drugs mailed to the post office.
Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood raised concerns during the hearing regarding Mesa’s criminal history.
“For someone so young, you have eight convictions and 16 additional arrests which is equivalent to two crimes committed a year,” the chief judge said.
According to Tydingco-Gatewood, Mesa was arrested in Hawaii in 2015 and was issued 13 to 15 citations related to criminal contempt — all in one day. She told Mesa that he is catching a break in this case.
Mesa had pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a controlled substance through a deal with the government and all remaining charges were dismissed.
And instead of serving the mandatory 5-year minimum sentence, he will only serve 51 months as agreed upon by all parties.
It was pointed out that should he do well with the court’s judicial recommendation to participate in the residential drug treatment program while in custody, he could have a year shaved off his sentence.
During the hearing, Mesa accepted responsibility for the wrongdoing stating: “I am guilty I should not and will not do this again.”
He also made a request to be released from the detention facility to get married.
While that request was denied, the chief judge agreed to marry the couple following the sentencing hearing — a request that the chief judge acknowledged is not common but stating that she would grant the request to marry the couple this one time.