A former Honolulu police officer was sentenced yesterday to 30 months in a federal prison for a firearms charge.
It was the maximum sentence that U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway was allowed to impose on Rik Mikio Orton, 44, who was a Honolulu Police Department officer from 1990 to 2004.
He pleaded guilty in December to possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number. Other firearms and drug charges were dropped.
Once described as a hero by a police chief for talking fugitives into surrendering, Orton is "a prime example of what drug addiction can do to someone," said William Harrison, his attorney.
Orton began taking prescription painkillers following two automobile accidents that caused him great physical pain to his back and elsewhere, he said.
|Rik Orton, shown in uni-
form in 1996, was on the
police force from 1990
In calling for the court to sentence Orton to a year and a day in prison, Harrison said "the addiction caused him to lose sight of what reality is."
But Mollway said that more than the drugs, she was worried about a history of violence he has displayed through the years.
"It seems to me it was not restricted to a short amount of time," Mollway said.
He was arrested last year on domestic violence charges after his live-in girlfriend, also a former HPD officer, said that he had physically abused her at their Laie home.
Orton’s ex-wife has a temporary restraining order against him, and he has only limited visitation rights for his children.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren Ching said that at the time of the arrest, police seized three firearms, one of which had its serial number removed. They also found 13 knives, nunchaku sticks and brass knuckles, he said.
Orton "has a violent history and an inability to control his anger," Ching said.
He had also previously been found guilty of reckless endangering, which was later erased from his record but cost him his job.
Orton also has pending a separate case of second-degree assault for allegedly striking another man with brass knuckles.
Dressed in a white jumpsuit and sporting a shaven head, Orton gave a tearful statement apologizing to his parents, the community and the court for his actions.
Becoming a police officer was his dream job, he said.
"I never thought that I would get to this point in my life," Orton said. "I’ve made some very unwise choices that brought me to this point."