July 15, 2020
A former Hawai'i Police Detective awaiting trial on drugs and conspiracy charges was indicted Wednesday morning on additional felony offenses for intimidating a witness.
A Kona grand jury indicted Brian Miller on charges of witness tampering, second-degree terroristic threatening, harassment, as well as retaliation against a witness and intimidating a witness, both of which are Class C felonies.
Miller, a 56-year-old retired Hilo Vice Section detective, was initially indicted by a Kona grand jury in May 2019 after allegedly stealing cocaine from the Hilo police evidence locker in May 2016.
According to Wednesday's indictment, Miller is accused of threatening and harassing two people meant to testify in the 2019 case.
additionally, the 2019 indictment includes conspiracy charges in connection to a tipoff to Lance and Stacey Yamada, owners of Hilo's Triple 7 arcade, about a gambling raid on their establishment on Aug. 10, 2017.
Overall, the former police detective 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 in prison. The remaining charges are misdemeanors
Four civilians were included as co-defendants in the separate indictment, which include the Yamada brothers as well as Ivar Kaluhikaua and David Colon.
Lance Yamada, 56, and brother Stacey Yamada, 52, pleaded not guilty on May 17, 2019, to criminal conspiracy to hinder prosecution and two counts of tampering with physical evidence, all misdemeanors.
Kaluhikaua and Colon are both charged with two counts each of second-degree hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence, also misdemeanors.
The cases were initially scheduled to be heard in Hilo Circuit Court. However, all judges recused themselves from the cases due to conflicts of interest, which will bring the defendants in front of Kona's Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim.
A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 14. Retired police captain Chadwick Fukui was also included as a defendant in the indictment, charged with two counts each of second-degree hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence, all misdemeanors. Those charges were dismissed on Dec. 12, 2019.
However, Deputy Prosecutor Sheri Lawson refiled in Hilo District Court with the same charges along with the additional offense of obstructing government operations, also a misdemeanor.