Ex-cops, two others make initial court appearances

  • Top row, from left: Brian Miller, Ivar Kaluhikaua, David Colon. Bottom row, from left: Lance Yamada, Stacey Yamada.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Chadwick Fukui, left, appears Thursday in Hilo Circuit Court with attorney Douglas Halsted.

Two retired Hawaii Police Department officers indicted Monday on criminal charges by a Kona grand jury appeared in Hilo Circuit Court Thursday.

Neither Brian Miller nor Chadwick Fukui entered pleas, nor did two civilians indicted in the same case as Fukui.

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Miller, a 55-year-old retired detective accused of stealing cocaine from a police evidence locker in May 2016, appeared without an attorney and told Judge Greg Nakamura he would need to be represented by a public defender or court-appointed defense attorney.

Miller — who’s also accused of tipping off Triple 7 arcade owners Lance and Stacey Yamada about an Aug. 10, 2017, gambling raid and engaging in a conspiracy to hide or destroy gambling devices — is charged with first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, second- and fourth-degree theft, obstructing government operations, two counts of second-degree hindering prosecution, and four counts of tampering with physical evidence.

The most severe charge, first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, is a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years upon conviction. Second-degree theft is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years behind bars. The remaining charges are misdemeanors.

The judge ordered Miller, who’s free on $10,000 bail, to return with a lawyer at 1:15 p.m. May 29 to enter a plea to the charges.

The 67-year-old Fukui — a former Hilo Criminal Investigations Division commander who retired in 2006 and worked as an investigator for the county prosecutor from 2007-2014 — appeared with Hilo attorney Douglas Halsted, who told the judge his client had signed waivers of speedy trial rights and extradition.

Fukui is charged with two counts each of second-degree hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence — all misdemeanor charges — in connection with the Aug. 10, 2017, raid on Triple 7 in the Canario Building in downtown Hilo.

Halsted explained to the judge that Deputy Prosecutor Sheri Lawson told him there is “voluminous discovery and a large grand jury record in the case” and that Fukui and his wife have travel plans between June 4-29.

“The prosecutor’s office agreed … to a stipulation that my client could travel off island, of course, with court permission …,” Halsted said. He added Fukui has turned in his “licensed firearms” to police.

Deputy Prosecutor Suzanna Tiapula confirmed the “state has signed the stipulations for the defendant to travel, pending permission of the court … .”

Nakamura granted Fukui’s travel request and waiver of speedy trial rights and ordered him to return to court at 8 a.m. July 10.

Two civilians facing the same charges as Fukui — 43-year-old Ivar Kaluhikaua and 62-year-old David Colon — also appeared without legal counsel. Nakamura referred them to the public defender’s office and ordered them to return to court at 8 a.m. May 29.

Fukui, Kaluhikaua and Colon are all free on $2,000 bail each.

Lance Yamada, 56, and his brother, Stacey Yamada, 52, turned themselves in to police Thursday afternoon and were booked with criminal conspiracy to hinder prosecution and two counts of tampering with physical evidence, all misdemeanors.

Both were released after posting $2,000 bail each and are scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. today in Hilo Circuit Court.

The Yamadas and four others — Glen Haraguchi, April Whiting-Haraguchi, Justin Alpert and Rodney Worley Jr. — face felony gambling-related charges in another case.

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That case is set for trial at 9 a.m. July 1 before Nakamura.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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