Indictment accuses retired police officer of intimidating witness

  • MILLER

A former Hawaii Police Department officer already charged with drug and conspiracy offenses was indicted for intimidating a witness in two high-profile criminal cases.

Retired Hilo Vice Detective Brian K. Miller was indicted Wednesday by a Kona grand jury on charges of intimidating a witness, retaliating against a witness, witness tampering, second-degree terroristic threatening and harassment stemming from a May 14 incident.

ADVERTISING


According to the indictment, Miller allegedly intimidated, threatened and/or retaliated against a female witness in a 2019 drug and conspiracy case against himself and in a separate 2019 case filed against another former police officer, Chadwick Fukui, and four civilians related to an illegal gambling operation. The harassment charge lists a male victim but does not state the offense is related to any criminal proceeding.

Intimidating and retaliating against a witness are Class C felonies punishable by up to five years imprisonment while the tampering, threatening and harassment offenses are petty misdemeanors that carry no more than 30 days in jail.

Miller is awaiting trial on charges stemming from a May 2019 indictment for allegedly stealing cocaine from a police evidence locker in Hilo in May 2016.

Miller — who’s also accused of tipping off Triple 7 arcade owners Lance and Stacey Yamada and two others 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.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges on May 29, 2019. A firm trial date has yet to be set in that case.

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

In the other 2019 case, the Yamada brothers pleaded not guilty to criminal conspiracy to hinder prosecution and two counts of tampering with physical evidence, all misdemeanors. Co-defendants Ivar Kaluhikaua and David Colon entered not guilty pleas to second-degree hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence, all misdemeanors.

Fukui, a retired police captain who once commanded the Hilo Criminal Investigations Division and worked as an investigator for the county prosecutor after his 2006 retirement, was charged with second-degree hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence. Those charges were dismissed in December and refiled last month, along with an additional charge of obstructing government operations.

A firm trial date also has yet to be set in the case.

ADVERTISING


The two 2019 cases were recently moved back to Kona Circuit Court after all judges recused themselves because of conflicts, including recently appointed Judge Peter Kubota. Interim Chief Judge Robert D.S. Kim is currently assigned to preside.

Email Chelsea Jensen at cjensen@westhawaiitoday.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiwarriorworld@staradvertiser.com.