A judge has dropped all charges in a 400-plus-count illegal gambling indictment.
This latest development has the defendants’ attorneys furious and calling for a federal investigation. One is even pushing for city prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro to lose his job.
Late Thursday afternoon, a deputy prosecutor filed a six-page document to drop hundreds of counts of illegal gambling and money laundering charges against nine Oahu residents, who were arrested after police raided a number of “game rooms” across the island.
It was filed just a day after Circuit Court Judge Randall Lee refused to allow the prosecution more time to prepare responses to arguments in what the defendant’s attorneys say is a flawed case.
“They acknowledge that they presented false information to the grand jury, and essentially they just want another chance to go back and do it correctly,” said attorney Thomas Otake.
In the filed court document, Deputy Prosecutor Jacob Delaplane said, “I have identified potential deficiencies that, in the interest of justice, should be cured by seeking a new indictment.”
“They have tremendous power to indict people, to charge them with crimes, take away their liberty, force them to post bail if they want to get out of custody, and they can’t just go into these endeavors just winging it,” said attorney Jason Burks.
Next, the attorneys will return to the courtroom in front of Judge Lee next Tuesday to ask for “prosecutorial misconduct,” Otake said. “They presented false information to the grand jury. They presented, in our opinion, perjured information to the grand jury.”
One of the defendant’s attorneys told KHON2 the only way to fix this problem is to take a drastic step.
“I can’t even begin to estimate the amount of time and money wasted in this investigation, only so it can end up being dismissed without prejudice so they can fix this problem,” said attorney Myles Breiner. “You fix this problem frankly by getting rid of Mr. Kaneshiro.”
Breiner went even further, asking for federal authorities to step in.
“Frankly, this case should be referred to the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Department of Justice for investigation of systematic prosecutorial misconduct,” he said. “We don’t believe there is a single agency in this city, or in this state, that is qualified to investigate the investigator, to investigate the prosecution.”