Two former Honolulu police officers were in federal court Wednesday to face criminal charges ranging from selling methamphetamine and intimidating witnesses to lying to the FBI about an ongoing investigation.
While each case is independent from the other, the mere fact that the officers — one of whom reached the rank of major before retiring — is a public relations blemish on the Honolulu Police Department’s image as a law enforcement agency.
One case involved former Maj. Carlton Nishimura, who was indicted in February 2011 for corruption and extortion related to his alleged involvement with the owner of an illegal game room in Honolulu.
Nishimura is accused to taking money from a woman running the gambling operation as well as trying to persuade her not to talk to federal investigators.
He also faces drug charges after federal agents found more than 200 grams of meth in his house while executing a search warrant in November 2011.
Nishimura was in court Wednesday to ask a judge if he could remove a GPS monitoring device on his ankle. He’s forced to wear the anklet as a condition of his release from custody.
In paperwork filed with the court, Nishimura’s attorney Peter Wolff explained that his client was “under the care and treatment of a physician” and needed to take off the device so he could stop taking a certain medication that makes him feel “foggy.”
“Elimination of the requirement that Mr. Nishimura continue to have a GPS device attached to his ankle would increase the likelihood that the reduction (and eventual elimination) of the medication will succeed without a worsening of the symptoms for which the medication is prescribed.”
Wolff didn’t provide any details about Nishimura’s mysterious condition in the paperwork and admitted to the ambiguity Wednesday while asking Judge Richard Puglissi to close the proceeding to the public because of medical privacy.
Although courtrooms are traditionally open to the public, Puglissi complied with Wolff’s request and allowed the proceedings to take place in secret without offering much in the way of an explanation. He also granted Wolff’s motion to remove the GPS device.
The second case Wednesday involved an officer who could face up to 15 years in prison for lying to the FBI while the federal agency was conducting an investigation.
Richard Raquino was arrested after he lied to federal agents about revealing the identity of an undercover officer to a person known as “C.E.” He also lied to the agents about telling “C.E.” how to “identify and elude police surveillance” and giving a description of an undercover vehicle to “C.E.”
Raquino pleaded guilty to three courts of making false statements. Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
According to HPD Spokeswoman Michelle Yu, Raquino was with the department from 1992 to last month when he was no longer employed. Yu declined to comment on whether Raquino was fired or if he resigned.
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