FBI Investigation Leads to Indictment of Eleven in Hawai‘i for Racketeering, Other Offenses

July 15, 2020, 11:28 PM HST · Updated July 16, 6:05 AM
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A Superseding Indictment was unsealed today charging Honolulu businessman Michael J. Miske, Jr., and 10 other defendants with racketeering conspiracy and other offenses. The Superseding Indictment includes charges against Miske for his alleged role in the kidnapping and murder of 21-year-old Johnathan Fraser in July 2016, according to information provided by the US Department of Justice.

A prior Indictment, which charged Miske and another defendant with their alleged participation in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy, was also unsealed today.

Eight of the defendants were arrested today. One defendant has not been arrested and remains at large, according to authorities. Two of the defendants, Lance Bermudez and Dae Han Moon, were already in state custody.

The case has been assigned to US District Judge Derrick K. Watson.

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The Superseding Indictment unsealed today in Hawaiʻi federal court alleges [1] that from at least in or about the late 1990s, up to and including the date of the Superseding Indictment, Michael J. Miske, Jr., aka “Bro,” John B. Stancil, Kaulana Freitas, aka “Shorty,” Lance L. Bermudez, aka “Hammah,” Dea Han Moon, aka “Dayday,” Preston M. Kimoto, Harry K. Kauhi, aka “Harry Boy,” Norman L. Akau IIIHunter J. Wilson, and Jarrin K. Young, the defendants, and others known and unknown, allegedly “conspired to conduct and participate in the conduct of the affairs of a racketeering enterprise, the Miske Enterprise, through a pattern of racketeering activity.”

The racketeering activity allegedly included “acts involving murder, kidnapping, arson and robbery.” The allegations further include “acts relating to murder-for-hire, chemical weapons, extortionate credit transactions, racketeering, interference with commerce through robbery and extortion, drug trafficking, wire fraud, fraud in connection with identification documents, financial institution fraud, the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, money laundering and obstruction of justice.”

According to the US Department of Justice, from at least in or about March 2016 and continuing to on or about July 30, 2016, Miske allegedly “conspired with others to kidnap and murder 21-year-old Johnathan Fraser.

In March 2016, Miske allegedly instructed a co-conspirator to develop a plan for kidnapping and murdering Fraser, and told that co-conspirator that he/she could name the price for carrying out the murder,” according to the District of Hawaiʻi US Attorney’s Office.

The department further alleges that “In or about June 2016, Miske arranged for the purchase of a Boston Whaler vessel that could be used to dump Fraser’s body into the ocean after Fraser was kidnapped and killed.”  The indictment alleges that Fraser was kidnapped and killed on or about July 30, 2016. On that same day, the indictment alleges that “another of Miske’s co-conspirators took Fraser’s significant other on a ‘spa day,’ thereby ensuring that Fraser and his significant other would be separated from each other when Fraser was kidnapped.”

Miske and other members and associates of the Miske Enterprise allegedly participated in various other acts of violence.  The US Department of Justice, District of Hawaiʻi US Attorney’s Office provided the following list of allegations:

• In or about 2016, Miske, Stancil, Bermudez, Moon, and Kauhi allegedly conspired to commit the murder-for-hire of an individual (“Victim-1”) whom Miske suspected of cooperating with law enforcement.
• On or about May 23, 2017, Miske and Stancil allegedly attempted to cause the death of another person (“Victim-2”) and committed an assault of Victim-2, and did so using at least one firearm.
• From the late 1990s and continuing to in or about 2018, Miske, Stancil, Buntenbah, and others known and unknown, allegedly conspired to commit assaults in aid of racketeering.
• In or about October 2017, Miske, Kimoto, and others known and unknown allegedly conspired to kidnap another person (“Victim-3”) in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. Two of Miske’s co-conspirators, allegedly acting on Miske’s instructions, are accused of kidnapping Victim-3 in Honolulu and restrained him/her in their vehicle.
• In or about 2016, Stancil, Bermudez, Kauhi, and Akau allegedly participated in a gunpoint robbery of another person (“Victim-4”) during which they are accused of robbing Victim-4 of methamphetamine.
• On or about August 24, 2016, Bermudez and Wilson allegedly participated in a gunpoint robbery of another person (“Victim-5”) during which they allegedly robbed Victim-5 of controlled substances.

In or about March 2017, Miske, Stancil, and Freitas, and others known and unknown, allegedly conspired to release a chemical weapon, namely, chloropicrin, into nightclubs in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. As part of this conspiracy, the indictment alleges that chloropicrin was released into two different nightclubs.

The indictment further alleges that multiple defendants conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, including methamphetamine, cocaine, oxycodone and marijuana.

Between on or about April 21, 2017 and July 3, 2017, Miske and others allegedly participated in a scheme to defraud Bank of Hawaiʻi through the preparation and submission of materially false documents as part of loan applications, according to the indictment.

Charts containing the name, ages, charges, and maximum penalties for the defendants are set forth below. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any potential sentencing of the defendants would be determined by the judge.

Kenji M. Price, the US Attorney for the District of Hawaiʻi praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Environmental Protection Agency-Criminal Investigative Division, Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

He also thanked the Honolulu Police Department for the work of personnel who participated in this matter in their role as Task Force Officers with the FBI, and thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, the United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, the Hawaiʻi National Guard, 93rd Civil Support Team, and the Office of Investigations–Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration for their assistance.

Assistant US Attorneys Michael Nammar, Micah Smith, and Mark A. Inciong are in charge of the prosecution. Assistant US Attorney Marion Percell is in charge of the forfeiture component of the case.

Editors Note: The charges contained in the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Superseding Indictment constitutes only allegations, and every fact described herein should be treated as an allegation.

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