A confrontation early this year at Waianae Small Boat Harbor between state officers and the leader of a Hawaiian sovereignty group triggered a series of events leading to the arrest last week of a Windward Oahu man for allegedly threatening to behead three people, including the Waianae harbor master.
Lindsey Kinney, 43, was detained last week by the FBI and faces a federal charge of interstate transmission of threats via the social media platforms Instagram and Facebook. The charge, found in 18 US Code 875(c), carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
An affidavit by FBI Special Agent Wyatt Tacket, submitted in support of the criminal complaint, alleges Kinney posted threats to his Instagram page, saying he would cut off the heads of three people. The names of those targeted by these threats were not disclosed in the affidavit or the criminal complaint, but “Victim 1” was identified as the Waianae harbor master, “Victim 2” as his wife, and “Victim 3” as “a close friend” of the couple.
The Harbor Incident
Waianae harbor master Joseph Simpliciano, reached by telephone at the harbor office on Monday, acknowledged his involvement in the incident but declined further comment, saying he was unaware of Kinney’s arrest or the charges against him.
During a Thursday morning hearing, Magistrate Judge Rom Trader granted a motion filed by prosecutors, and ordered that Kinney be held at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu without bail until trial.
Kinney’s threats were part of long rants posted to Instagram and Facebook on Jan. 17, less than two weeks after Simpliciano, accompanied by armed Department of Land and Natural Resources enforcement officers, attempted to serve a written warning on the owner of a small sailboat, demanding it leave the harbor or be cited.
The boat owner, identified as Sam Lilikoi, was told to leave because he allegedly had already racked up about $30,000 in unpaid fees owed the state due to unauthorized mooring in various small boat harbors, as well as “disposal and demolition fees” for a sailboat he had owned that was previously impounded by DLNR’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.
According to Tacket’s affidavit, Lilikoi is the leader of a “paramilitary group” whose members, “identify themselves by military titles/ranks, describe their efforts as ‘operations,’ don military uniforms, (and) carry illegitimate military documents.”
On social media, Lilikoi claims the rank of colonel, and touts his current status as “commander” of Occupied Forces Hawaii Army, a small group that says it doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the state or federal governments.
On its website, the group claims to be made up of “lawful military combatants” representing the “Country of Hawaii” which it believes has been occupied under martial law since the Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown in 1893.
Lindsey Kinney “characterizes himself” as a member of the group, according to the affidavit.
As DLNR agents approached the small sailboat, which Lilikoi refers to as the Occupied Forces’ “warship,” he shouted for them to stay away, calling them “traitors” and their actions illegal, while livestreaming the scene, according to the affidavit.
Soon after the Waianae incident, Lilikoi posted a video to his Facebook page asking his followers to identify the names and residences of the state employees, including Simpliciano, who appeared in the livestream video.
Kinney responded on Jan. 17 via his @can’t.stop.cowboy Instagram account by posting the social media profile photos of Simpliciano, his wife, and their friend, next to the beheading threats.
The threatening posts jumble together religious and violent imagery, conspiracy theories, Freemason references, anti-government statements and repeated mentions of beheading.
In a subsequent video, Kinney echoed a Q-anon-like conspiracy theory, accusing the Department of Land and Natural Resources of being “part of a human trafficking ring,” and stating his intent to overthrow Hawaii’s government.
“After I take there (sic) heads I will be king,” Kinney wrote.
Simpliciano, who spent 17 years in the Army, told FBI agents that he and his wife took the threats very seriously.
“They were at their highest threat level, locked their outdoor gates, kept loaded firearms ready and staged at the front door, and rehearsed security procedures with their children due to the threats and Kinney’s association with Michael Miske,” the FBI affidavit said.
The Miske Connection
Lindsey Kinney made headlines in July 2020 when he told Hawaii News Now he had turned down an offer of $50,000 from Honolulu business owner and alleged racketeering boss Michael J. Miske, Jr., to kill Jonathan Fraser, who had survived a 2015 automobile crash that took the life of Miske’s son and only child, Caleb.
Later, Kinney said, he also turned down another cash offer to remain silent about Miske’s attempt to hire someone to carry out the murder. Miske, who was arrested along with 10 co-defendants in mid-2020, has been charged with four counts of murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy for allegedly directing and financing the murder-for-hire scheme resulting in Fraser’s death.
Almost a year after Fraser disappeared, Kinney was drawn into an ambush at Kualoa Ranch, during the filming of “Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom,” where Kinney was working as a stagehand. Miske and several associates confronted Kinney, and several shots were fired at Kinney as he ran from the scene.
Miske and his half-brother, John Stancil, are charged with assault and attempted murder in aid of racketeering based on their participation in the Kualoa ambush. It is the basis for Count 8 in the 2nd Superseding Indictment handed down by a grand jury in July.
Kinney’s threats and erratic behavior, bordering the delusional, make it virtually impossible for him to be called as a witness against Miske or his remaining co-defendants.
However, two others who took part in the Kualoa attack, Jacob “Jake” Smith and Harry Kauhi, already have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with prosecutors, as is Norman Akau, who also was working at the site and witnessed the ambush.
Akau, Kinney, Smith and other Miske associates were members of the Kaneohe-based Nakipi Motorcycle Club. Miske is alleged to have utilized the club and certain of its members in the drug-trafficking and racketeering activities of his organization. Akau was a founder of Nakipi, and Kinney served as the club’s “enforcer.”
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Ian Lind is an award-winning investigative reporter and columnist who has been blogging daily for more than 20 years. He has also worked as a newsletter publisher, public interest advocate and lobbyist for Common Cause in Hawaii, peace educator, and legislative staffer. Lind is a lifelong resident of the islands. Read his blog here. Opinions are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Civil Beat's views.